Anyone have experience with "ear candles" - page 3

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   mommy2boys
    Call me crazy, but I don't want anything with a flame near, in or on my head. I tend to burn myself just looking at matches, so I think I'll pass the whole ear candle thing.

    Besides, I've never heard of it until just now. You learn something new everyday.
  2. by   Nurse Ratched
    Hi there,

    Had to giggle at my 3 1/2 year old thread bouncing up . I still love a good ear lavage.

    You are right to be worried about causing more harm than good by poking around on yourself. I would suggest you see your HCP. Once the immediate problem is relieved, inquire about the possible reasons for your wax buildup (seasonal/envoironmental allergies are one example of a very treatable condition that, left untreated, will promote wax production.)

    Here's some info:

    I would decline to make any suggestions other than see your provider. No sense being deaf if you don't have to be . Best wishes.
  3. by   not now
    My great grandma was a curandera (mexican faith healer) and most of her "tricks" were passed down to my oldest aunt. My mom was complaining about her ear bothering her so my aunt was gonna do the ear candle thing, which she claims you can do with any paper twisted into the cone shape not just a cone shaped candle. I said they were both crazy.

    As my aunt is doing it they are both sitting quietly, my mom with her head tilted to the side, my aunt holding the paper as it's burning. Suddenly a big poof of air escapes from the cone. They both look at with with an expression that says "See?" and I reply "You pay all this money for me to go to college and expect me to believe this stuff?"
  4. by   chysyl
    does it clean the ear or keep it completely shut.
  5. by   banditrn
    Cleaning out ear wax rates only slightly higher on my scale than clipping nasty toenails.
  6. by   NurseTightscrubs

    My ear canal is abnormally narrow, the wax does not naturally clear as it should. I never... EVER use Q-tips as they seem to only cause the wax to become impacted. Over time the wax hardens along the canal walls and as the passage narrows it becomes easier for water and debris to become trapped imparing my hearing and causing quite a bit of discomfort. For the most part I was just curious if there was another method aside from the warm water and peroxide / and the candle cure. My HCP believes in using warm water and peroxide... and quite frankly I can do a better job with that myself.

  7. by   lorster
    When I was a home health nurse, I used candles on a quadraplegic patient. They worked great on him. The wax does not go into the ear. They are a hollow cone shaped tube made of paper, covered with a light coating of wax, about a foot long. You cut a hole in a paper plate and hold it over the ear. The small point of the cone tube is then gently inserted into the ear canal and the other end of the tube is lit with a match. As the cone is burned down and the ashes of the tube are allowed to fall on the plate. I'm not sure how it works but it some how forms a vacume, allowing the wax to be sucked from the canal. It worked on this patient when the peroxide/water treatments didn't. I purchased them at our local food coop. Try them, they do work.
  8. by   snowfreeze
    A few co-workers used candles for ear problems a few years ago and they claimed they worked.
    Grandpa used to just blow some smoke from his ciggy or pipe in the grandchilds ears when they ached, plug em with cotton for the night then mom or grandmom would take the cotton out in the morning and gently flush with a baster or just soak the kid in the sink. Lots of junk would come out as I remember. So I from past experience would believe candling could work.
  9. by   studentforlife
    Quote from snowfreeze
    Grandpa used to just blow some smoke from his ciggy or pipe in the grandchilds ears when they ached, plug em with cotton for the night then mom or grandmom would take the cotton out in the morning and gently flush with a baster or just soak the kid in the sink. Lots of junk would come out as I remember. So I from past experience would believe candling could work.
    I remember hearing about this treatment when I was a kid. I wonder what the science is behind it? What makes it so effective? Mind you - if one of the kids gets an ear ache I'm still going to take him to the Dr., but this does make me curious.
  10. by   buddiage
    I've heard people burn the inside of their ear. If it causes that much suction, the ear drum would be damaged and you'd probably feel it in your nose or throat.

    I don't believe in them. I checked on it about a year ago, looked at all the pros and cons and different websites.

    No, not good.
  11. by   mruss
    I tried them. My exwife is totally convinced they work, but I think it's a placebo effect, at best. Nasty smoke, but kind of neat to see someone laying on the floor with a this flaming thing stickin' out of their head... Here's a couple sites: . Mark, RN
    Last edit by mruss on Jul 1, '06 : Reason: Trying to get URLs "clickable"
  12. by   NurseTightscrubs

    I have used these candles and exactly as described above you insert one through a hole in a paper plate to catch any drippings (although they rarely drip) and burn the candle... the candle itself is a hollow cone of weaved paper coated thinly in wax. The wax is usually either parafin or bee wax and I've tried them both and they seem about the same. When placing this in your ear and lighting one end you immediately can see the smoke barrelling down the cone shape into the ear... I base the following on my own common sense through testing them.

    1. These dont remove any wax.. not one iota... instead they warm the ear and allow hardened wax to loosen often giving immediate relief.

    2. The wax observed at the bottom of the candle when it's been burnt has not actually come from the ear but is rather a build up from the burnt wax of the candle which due to the smoke resembles ear wax. (I actually cut open the candle to smell the wax.. yeah I know its discusting but I had to know)

    3. As far as I can tell there is no danger in doing this aside from the fire involved. The suction force is very weak considering this is not sealed on your ear canal and it's not neccesary for it to be. Although I've found the same amount of relief a candle offers but by placing a warm towel on my ear for about 20 minutes.

    4. When seriously trying to remove my impacted ear wax. I soften the wax by pouring a few drops of 50% water and Hydrogen Peroxide into my ear and allowing it to foam and bubble for about 15 minutes in each ear.. Then I use a solution 9:1 Water / Hydrogen Peroxide. Roughly 80 degree water (warm to the touch but not nearly hot enough to burn) and place it inside of a clean/sterile spray bottle (capible of spraying a thin but steady stream) and then place the tip at the end of my ear canal and fire away over a sink.

    Now I can feel the pressure and remove the wax with a little more than a tickle and no pain... but by my standards this is also slow and not highly effective. It usually takes me an hour from start to finish and even at the end I can only feel the relief from the pain caused by the impacted wax which may be in the ear canal still but no longer putting pressure on the canal walls or ear drum.
  13. by   azhiker96
    Quote from JohnnyGage
    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.
    I can see that it may make a very slight suction. So why play with fire around someone's head? Just use an 18 french or other suitable size probe connected to low suction. Maybe it's just me but sticking lit paper cones in my ears sounds like something I'd expect to do at a rugby party.