Ear wax accumulation is one of the more common conditions seen viewed by Neurotologists; removing ear wax is the most common ear, nose, and throat procedure carried out in the community. With the increasing use of and interest in complementary medicine in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, it is not surprising that ear candling has developed an increased following over the recent years.
Ear candling involves placing a hollow candle (made from a fabric tube soaked in beeswax) into the external auditory canal. The candle is then lit and allowed to burn down for about 15 minutes. After the procedure is finished, the candle is extinguished and the is opened to reveal a brown waxy substance, believed by ear candling practitioners to be a mixture of ear wax, debris, and bacteria, that has been drawn from the ear canal.
Ear candling can be performed by beauticians, alternative therapists, or by patients using kits at home. It is used mainly to remove ear wax, though it has also been used to try to relieve sinus pain, cure ear infections, help relieve tinnitus and vertigo, and even strengthen the brain Patients considering such alternative therapies might want to get advice from their GPs first.