One holistic ear treatment that is under controversy in the tinnitus community is the practice of ear candling to help treat tinnitus. Ear candling, also known as ear coning or thermal auricular therapy, is an alternative health treatment that uses a hollow candle placed in the ear canal, lit at the other end to create negative pressure that draws out wax and other ear buildup. This buildup appears as black residue. The practice promotes better ear health and claims to help rid patients of conditions like tinnitus. Skeptics say that the appearance of buildup is actually just candle residue, and that ear candling to help treat tinnitus doesn’t work.
In 2007, the FDA announced that ear candling is “dangerous to health when used in the dosage or manner, or with the frequency or duration, prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling thereof…since the use of a lit candle in the proximity of a person’s face would carry a high risk of causing potentially severe skin/hair burns and middle ear damage.” The website earcandling.com says that, “Ear candling does have the ability to promote healing. During the candling process the smoke that is created by the candle flows down into the ear canal and deposits a light coating of wax on top of the exposed skin and earwax. The skin at that point is suffocated and cannot get oxygen, that process of being ‘smoked out’ causes the skins pores to open and oil to excrete from the open pores. When this happens it gives nothing for the wax to stick to and 1-5 days later, wax will naturally excrete by itself.” Some have tried ear candling to help treat tinnitus and swear by it; others don’t see any changes in their tinnitus. Before trying any type of tinnitus treatment, whether alternative or medical, always be sure to seek advice from your doctor.
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