Ear Candling: Is It Just a Ball of Wax?
What Is Candling?The origins of candling are uncertain, but its practice may date back to ancient times. Practitioners of candling (also called coning) use special ear candles made of linen or cotton soaked in wax or paraffin. The candles are hollow and about 10 inches long. Practitioners say that when a candle is placed in the ear and lit, a low-level vacuum is created, which sucks wax and other debris out of the ear canal.
What Are the Purported Benefits?Many claims are made about the effects of candling. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. In addition, there is not even plausible reasoning for how candling might work. For example, proponents say that candling can cure the following conditions:
- Tinnitus —ringing in the ears
- Otitis media —a middle ear infection
- Sinus pressure and pain
- Meniere's disease —an inner ear disorder that causes hearing problems and vertigo