Clin Surg | Volume 1, Issue 1 | Case Report | Open Access

Ear Candling: A Non-Proven Method for Benefits

Nee ST1 and Athar PP2*

1Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Masters Programme, KPJ University College, Malaysia
2ENT, Head & Neck, KPJ Seremban Specialist Hospital/KPJ Healthcare University College, Malaysia

*Correspondance to: Primuharsa Putra bin Sabir Husin Athar 

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Ear candling, also known as auricular candling, "coning" or thermo-auricular therapy (TAT), is believed among most people that functions as an alternative medical practice which is believed to enhance general health. We report a 16-years old Malay male who presented with 1-week history of reduced hearing and pain over the right ear. This symptoms developed after patient went for ear candling which was claimed to soothe the head and ears and for treatment of allergic rhinitis. Otoscopy showed presence of whitish hard waxy material in the right ear canal. The nature and consistency of the foreign body in the right ear was similar to the hardened candle wax. He underwent examination under microscope under general anesthesia. Intra-operative findings showed the candle wax situated deep in the right ear canal and adhered to the tympanic membrane and the surrounding ear canal. The removal of ear wax was performed meticulously as we tried to avoid damage to the tympanic membrane. Multiple pieces of wax candle were removed from the ear canal. External auditory canal was inflamed and tympanic membrane intact. On follow up 1 week, the ear canal was normal and tympanic membrane intact. Ear candling still appeared popular and is heavily advertised although there are no proven benefits that could seem scientific to most people. We would like to highlight and emphasized this to everyone that ear candling is ineffective and potentially dangerous and we do not recommend it at any time for any reason.


Ear candling; Wax; Auricular candling; Coning; Thermo-auricular therapy


Nee ST, Athar PP. Ear Candling: A Non- Proven Method for Benefits. Clin Surg. 2016; 1: 1088.

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