Ear candling: Study of 22 cases and review of the literatures


BK Sudhangshu*, B Saikot, M Muntasir, T Debnath and B Susmita

Objective: To assess the outcome of Ear candling practiced by Traditional healer practitioner as an alternative method to clean the cerumen, cure of tinnitus, hearing impairment and other ear related complaints of vertigo headache etc.

Materials and methods: We studied 22 cases of ear candling attended the ENT Department of Khulna Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh between 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019. The patient with the history of chronic ear discharge and hearing impairment were excluded from enrolment. After taking detail history we had examined the ear under microscope and found hardened candle wax in the external auditory canal and on the tympanic membrane. We removed the candle wax and cerumen from the ear canal meticulously and assessed the tympanic membrane. Hearing tests were done by 512 Hz tuning fork. Patients were followed up after 2 weeks. Hearing tests were repeated and in addition, pure tone audiometry and impedance audiometry were done.

Results: On examination of ear under microscope we found signs of scalding and dried up candle wax partially or completely occluding the external auditory canal. In a few cases we found candle wax pasted on the tympanic membrane. None of the patients were benefitted from the procedure. Additionally, the procedure caused various complications.

Conclusion: In our study we found nothing beneficial in favour of ear candling rather it caused complications of burn and worsening of tinnitus, vertigo and hearing loss. We do not recommend ear candling and warn people to be aware of the danger of ear candling.


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