Dustbug10

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Full Article: http://www.audiology.org/news/Pages/20100622.aspx

Claim 1: Interconnections in the head allows the candles to drain the entire system through the ear.
FALSE: Liquids and gases cannot pass through a normal healthy ear drum. For example, most people have experienced pressure in their ears when changing altitude while driving in mountains, or ascending or descending during flight. This pressure sensation results from atmospheric pressure changes acting on the middle ear space. If liquids and gases could readily pass through the ear drum, changes in atmospheric pressure would not create a "change in pressure" sensation. And, by the way, there are no empty interconnecting passages. Yes, there are arteries, veins, lymph systems, and neural networks, but they have very specific ongoing functions that cannot be impinged upon while mysterious things are allegedly drained through solid barriers!

Claim 2: Oxygen drawn through the candle will create a vacuum.
FALSE: A basic scientific evaluation measured the amount of vacuum force created by ear candles when placed in a simulated human ear canal. Despite numerous trials, this presumed phenomena (creation of a vacuum) simply did not occur at any point during the trials (Seely, Quigley, Langman, 1996; Kaushall and Kaushall, 2000).

Claim 3. When a vacuum is created, it will pull residue out from the ear canal.
FALSE: A scientific study compared individuals' ear canals before and after candling. Some subjects had impacted earwax and others had completely clear ear canals prior to candling. In all instances, after candling, there was no reduction in the amount of ear wax found in individual's ear canals. In fact, after candling, some participants had candle wax deposited in their ear canals. Indeed, meticulous analysis of the contents in the ear candle after use (using gas chromatography) showed multiple alkanes of candle wax, with no constituents of cerumen (Seely, Quigley, Langman, 1996). If anything, individuals subjected to ear candling have complained about significant pain from the heat funneled into the ear and very loud "bubbling" noises created from the candle.

Claim 4. The method is safe, noninvasive, and effective.
FALSE: Candling is dangerous. Survey responses from medical specialists (otolaryngologists) in the United Kingdom reported ear injuries from ear candling including; burns, ear canal occlusions and ear drum perforations and secondary ear canal infections with temporary hearing loss (Seely, Quigley, Langman, 1996). In some patients, multiple complications were found. There have been reports within the United States demonstrating ash remnants and residue from ear candling coating the eardrum (Kutz and Fayad, 2008). Additionally, significant fires associated with ear candling have been reported, one of which led to the user's death (Powell, 2005). In recent years Health Canada's Medical Device Regulatory Agency declared that selling ear candles requires a license from Health Canada before anyone can sell them for therapeutic purposes. Yet, Health Canada has not issued any licenses for ear candles, consequently selling ear candles for "therapeutic purposes" in Canada is illegal. The U.S. FDA and Health Canada have acted against manufacturers of ear candles by providing alerts to consumers not to use ear candles, seizing products, and issuing bans for importing ear candles. Despite the proactive stance of these government agencies, there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of "practitioners" around the United States ready to perform the procedure (see multiple FDA references, below).

Summary
Ear candling is dangerous (even when used as directed by the manufacturer) and serves no legitimate purpose and there is no scientific evidence showing effectiveness for use. It is of significant concern that some ear candles are advertised for use with children (including babies), potentially placing them at great risk—with no known or documented benefit.

As hearing professionals and doctors, we strongly recommend prior to undertaking ear candling, consumers and patients are urged to discuss the matter with their physician, audiologist, or hearing aid dispenser. Bottom line: Ear candling is ineffective and potentially dangerous and we do not recommend it at any time for any reason.
 
Aug 27, 2010
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I've also found on occasion debris from the candle in the ear too.

Brings up a good point though. Cerumen management wasn't a high priority during my education unfortunately although it's a huge part of my practice now.

Is it performed in your guys supervisors clinics? If so, what are their philosophies about it, how do they do it, and are you getting trained?

-D
 
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Dustbug10

Dustbug10

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It is performed, usually before impressions are made. Any training thus far has been from observation only. My on-campus preceptor uses a curet, while my current uses a normal ear hook and suction to remove dried cerumen in the hearing aid.
 
Aug 18, 2010
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I appreciate all the links!! Interesting, though we all knew ear candles are a hoax :laugh:
 
May 18, 2010
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I appreciate all the links!! Interesting, though we all knew ear candles are a hoax :laugh:
I know you're joking, but there's a cosmetology school near my house that offers ear candling as a service! These are cosmetologists in-training that are doing the ear candling! whattt!
 
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Dustbug10

Dustbug10

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I know you're joking, but there's a cosmetology school near my house that offers ear candling as a service! These are cosmetologists in-training that are doing the ear candling! whattt!
I have half a mind to visit a few of these places for some 'healing'. With several helpings of prunes and cabbage beforehand..
 

BigAl

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Is it performed in your guys supervisors clinics? If so, what are their philosophies about it, how do they do it, and are you getting trained?

-D
Still not sure who to blame for this but in the state of NJ cerumen management is not under the scope of practice for audiologists, but from what I hear through the grapevine that this will be changing soon.
 
Nov 13, 2010
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Wroooonggg. . .Cerumen management is part of the scope of audiology in NJ

http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/aud/NJAC13_44c_7_1a.pdf

It was changed in 2009.
Yes! It def is part of our scope of practice. In my school we have to be certified to remove cerumen in either our 2nd or 3rd year.

Oh and on the topic of candling--I was at an ENT practice for my rotation last semester and I look in a guys ear and saw blue...when I asked if had any idea what it could be from, he informed me that he was told by a guy at work to put candles in his ears and it will get rid of it and some of the candle wax went in his ear---OW!! sheesh
 

DrumHead

10 Sir Tim Penny
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Mar 28, 2001
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I started doing cerumen management my second year in our school clinic, under close supervision, of course. It is definitely in our scope of practice. It's actually one of the more satisfying things you can do especially if the wax is completely occluding the ear canal. With one or two scoops and a pull of the foreceps, you can 'miraculously cure' a patient's hearing loss. It's funny to see the looks on patient's faces when they can hear again. They are just so amazed and grateful.

On the topic of ear candeling, on of my patients swears by it. I told him he had clear canals, and he said that's be cause he uses the candeling system once a month. I told him that it was not safe to do that and it has never been proven to be effective in the removal of wax. He said "Well my ears are clean ain't they?" Couldn't argue with that. Haha.