Anyone have experience with "ear candles" - page 2

OK, I already alluded to in a previous thread my pure unadulterated joy at flushing people's ears out which I do with some regularity at my new job. (Laugh if you must, but I consider it a little... Read More

  1. by   pointhope
    HAVE USED THEM FOR YEARS, WOULDN' LIVE WITHOUT THEM. i FIND THEM VERY SUCCESSFUL. GREAT ADVICE NOT DO DO IT ALONE. ALWAYS USE A FIREPROOF TOWEL OVER THE HEAD AND CUT A BASEBALL SIZED HOLE IN THE CENTER FOR THE EAR AND THE CANDLE TO PROTRUDE. I FIND THEM AT ABOUT ONE DOLLAR PER CANDLE AT A LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE.
  2. by   RNFROG3
    As I live and breathe--very interesting. Thanks for the web page jump. I only wish my mom had known about this when I was little. I sufferes major earaches. She used to heat sweet oil and wick it in my ear and rock me till I stopped crying. Sweet oil is also known as olive oil>
  3. by   Granted Fal
    I work w/ a holistic nurse who endorses these, but the fact of the matter is that when you use ear candles, the result which is supposed to be extracted ear wax and fungus/bacteria, is merely the residue of the ear candles itself - It doesn't matter whether you stick one of these things in your ear or a cup of water, the former just risks some of that gunk dripping from the candle into your ear. Not a safe or advisable remedy.
  4. by   kmchugh
    Critical thinking time....

    A candle, while burning, draws (wax, toxins, whatever) out through your ear. Put aside "feelings," think critically. Use the scientific knowledge you have as nurses.

    Supposedly, the hollow candle placed in the ear gets oxygen to burn through "suction" through the hollow candle. Remember, any gas (including oxygen or room air) follows the path of least resistance, so why would a "suction" need to be created through the hollow candle, when there is oxygen all around the flame? If air must be "sucked" through the hollow candle, why do solid candles burn at all?

    Now, if you are still a believer, as falconboy suggests, burn one at your ear, and one in a cup. Compare the residue. Hmmmm

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited for clarity.
    Last edit by kmchugh on Jan 11, '03
  5. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    The first time I saw them was in Singapore.... My husbands family member was using one on a child and I about freaked.I had never seen such and the thought of a flame near a child freaked me out even more. I just got very close and watched.... the thing worked. My husband swears by them Im just too much of a wuss and Im scared to death my hair would explode at some point. Will stick to the old fashioned way, until that stops working then maybe try shoving a candle down my ear.
    Zoe
  6. by   JohnnyGage
    Originally posted by kmchugh
    Critical thinking time....

    A candle, while burning, draws (wax, toxins, whatever) out through your ear. Put aside "feelings," think critically. Use the scientific knowledge you have as nurses.

    Supposedly, the hollow candle placed in the ear gets oxygen to burn through "suction" through the hollow candle. Remember, any gas (including oxygen or room air) follows the path of least resistance, so why would a "suction" need to be created through the hollow candle, when there is oxygen all around the flame? If air must be "sucked" through the hollow candle, why do solid candles burn at all?

    Now, if you are still a believer, as falconboy suggests, burn one at your ear, and one in a cup. Compare the residue. Hmmmm

    Kevin McHugh

    Edited for clarity.
    Actually it acts more like a chimney...

    If you light a fire at the top of a chimney, you get a gas draw from the bottom of the chimney created by the burning fuel at the top. The same works with ear candles. Yes, the residue inside the top of the candle is from the candle itself. The residue toward the bottom is actually ear wax. They look different and have different textures as well.
  7. by   fab4fan
    As someone who routinely burned herself with curling irons, there is no way I'm going for flames. And what if you have hairspray in your hair...can anyone say POOF!!

    Pass the Debrox!
  8. by   NurseGirlKaren
    I got a gift certificate for a spa for Christmas and one of the treatments that this spa offers is ear candling.

    "This soothing and relaxing treatment helps relieve pressure in the ears. A cylinder is gently placed in the ear and lit on the opposite side creating a vacuum with no discomfort. Helping to relieve pressure, wax build up, and inner ear blockage, old ear wax and toxins are removed. Great for ear pain due to allergies, sinusitis, and swimmers ear!..........................................$50"

    Fitty bucks?!?!?!?
  9. by   RN2B2005
    I'm a natural-born skeptic, so the whole "chimney draw" thing isn't working for me. If I light a fire in the fireplace, the chimney draws primarily from room air, not from the chimney. If I light a fire midway up the chimney, the fire would still draw from both the room and the chimney. If I light a fire on top of my chimney, as in the earlier explanation, my neighbours will call the police.

    I chalk ear-candling up there with chiropractic and other 'natural healing' remedies...not therapeutic, but they feel good and probably won't do too much harm to anything but your wallet. By the way, what 'toxins' build up in your ear canal? I've never heard my ears fart. And the spiel about 'removing inner ear blockage...", well, if ear candling can really do that then why bother with a tympanoplasty for your toddler when you can go to Sally's Beauty Salon and have a medical procedure done by a gum-snapping twenty-two year old with artificial nails?

    I'll stick to flushing my ears with hydrogen peroxide and warm water--not sexy, not 'natural', but effective and safe.
  10. by   JohnnyGage
    I've never heard of using ear candles to remove "toxins" from the ear canal -- only wax -- and they definitely don't remove inner ear blockage. I would also submit that using good ol' H2O is as natural as you can get.

    However ... for general wax buildup (not impaction) I do know that ear candles work. :stone
  11. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by JohnnyGage
    However ... for general wax buildup (not impaction) I do know that ear candles work. :stone
    OK, that's great for you. I'll stick to science, thanks.

    Kevin
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    I did do some research; FDA isn't keen on them and there are no research studies that support their efficacy (altho there are some that indicate they have no effect on ear wax.) Even sites that endorse their use and efficacy indicate that it's nearly impossible to do correctly on your own, which this patient was.

    Thanks again for all the thoughts .
  13. by   NurseTightscrubs
    Nurse Ratched,

    I'm curious if you used a peroxide / warm water flush to remove the large wax build up from the female patient? About 12 years ago a doctor flushed my ear and then used a curette to remove a hard wax build up the size of a M&M. Few times since then have I felt so much relief and clarity of sound.

    I can feel the build up in my ear and have been using peroxide / warm water to remove it although I cannot use a curette on myself for fear of puncturing my ear drum; Also I'm afraid of using pressurized water for the same reason. I suffer from the impacted hard wax build up and I am searching for an alternative to the peroxide / warm water flush to remove the wax. The water occasionally becomes trapped behind the wax, excessive amounts of peroxide causes ear canal dryness, and in cases of impacted hard wax build up it really is not effective beyond the first coat of wax leaving large chucks of hard wax attached to the ear canal and drum.

    I've tried the candles and quite frankly they are possibly 5% as effective as a peroxide / warm water flush and thats being generous. Is the use of a curette and p/ww the only option?



    Thanks,

    Tight Scrubs

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