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Idea Exchange

Ear Candling

D

uring one of our editorial committee meetings, Ear Candling was the topic of conversation. Interestingly enough, there were mixed reviews from our group regarding this practice. For those of you who are not familiar with Ear Candling, also called Ear Coning, it claims to be an alternative/holistic and natural way of treating ear aches and other common issues related to ear hygiene. It is best

described as the use of an ear candle, made up of beeswax or paraffin wax, and lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in the ear canal.

the operation, Dr. Toso discovered that the patient’s ear drum was gone, the bone had to be realigned and grafted—basically Dr. Toso had to rebuild the ear drum and middle ear.

Women2Women wanted a reputable view on this treatment so we approached Gianfranco Toso, M.D., D.D.S., F.A.C.S., founder of Berks E.N.T. Surgical Associates, Inc., who has practiced in the field of otolaryngology (ears, nose, throat) for over 52 years. Here’s what he had to say about Ear Candling.

In Dr. Toso’s opinion, even though Ear Candling is meant to suck the wax out, it is an unreliable and unsafe method because complications can more than likely occur.

In his 52 years of caring for patients, Dr. Toso quickly recalled an extremely damaging case of a patient that was a frequent user of ear candling. During a home use of ear candling to clean out ear wax, the wax melted and dripped directly into his patient’s ear canal, resulting in a clogged and damaged ear drum. Dr. Toso had to operate on the patient because the wax had dripped into the ear canal, destroying the ear drum and the middle ear. Dr. Toso marveled how the patient could have possibly endured the pain prior to his office consultation. During

Dr. Toso's recommendation for a safer method of ear cleaning: 1. Never use Q-tips—they remove and displace

the wax. Wax is not dirt, it is natural oil and is bacteriostatic; it controls the growth of bacteria. Wax acts as a natural antibiotic for the ear canal.

2. Use a rubber syringe, once every few

months—this is a gentle irrigation method and if used correctly, can be successful. However, you must be very careful, if you do not know the condition of the ear drum.

3. Preferred recommendation is to have a

professional place a few drops of oil into the ear and use a gentle suction to clean out the ear.

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