Tuesday, April 04, 2006

ear candle

I am officially an idiot.

On two or three different occassions, I've had various friends and/or aquaintances tell me about a "revolutionary new" ear cleaning treatment. They described the process. You take a candle-like object, that you can purchase at most drug stores. You stick one end in your ear, and light the other end. It then, according to my friends, creates a vaccum that pulls all the "impurities" out of your ear.

The gross part is, after this process, you can (allegedly) cut the candle open to see how much impurity has been extracted from your ear. Then, you can see just how effective it has been!!!

So, today I went to a local CVS drug store. I looked around, and saw no such "ear candle." I asked the woman behind the counter about it. She replied, (imagine thick country accent) "Oh, well, you'll have to go down to that 'all natural' place down the road. They might have 'em." So, off I went. To the "all natural, herbal" medicine place.

Sure enough, they had these ear candles. I took them home, and used them.

The experience was pleasant enough. There was a weird crackling sound. I didn't feel much going on in my ear, except a light crackling. Afterward, it certainly appeared as if many, many impurities and ear wax had been extracted from my ear. But, could this really be? My ears didn't feel any cleaner.

So, I got on the net and searched for the truth about these ear candles. As it turns out, I am a first class idiot.

I can't believe I fell for this idiotic scam. What made me believe that lighting a candle and lodging it in my ear would somehow magically suck out all the "dirt" and "impurities"? I'm an idiot. The truth is, the wax from the candle melts, and appears as ear wax on the inside of the candle. So, what you're looking at is NOT your ear wax, but candle wax.

In order for a vacuum to suck out impurities from your ear, it would have to be incredibly strong. Strong enough to destroy your eardrum. Ear cleaning should only be done by doctors, and trained professionals.

This is the part that makes me angry. Not only is the candle thing a scam, but it's dangerous. I read testimonies on the net of people who burned their ears. Hot wax dripped into their ears, and one woman even reported having a damaged ear drum. She had to go to the hospital and have the wax removed.

The OPPOSITE of what she was trying to do! I can't believe I feel for this snake oil. What kind of idiot am I? I'm like one of those people who buys the super-vegetable-steamer-metal-polisher at 3 AM from some infommercial.

I'm warning you. If you hear your friends raving about this new product, stay away. My ears still ache. And, so does my pride.

15 comments:

Charlotte said...

Well-written, darling, but, um, HELLO--why on earth would a HOT CANDLE clean your ear is right! Stick to the q-tips, my friend.

Tim said...

The doctor told me one time that the best method for cleaning out your ears is to use a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and warm water. I can't remember the exact mixture but I'm sure you could find it on the Internet. He also told me not to use Q-tips, they just shove the wax further back and make it worse over time.

Millie said...

Our pediatrician told us that ear wax is GOOD for your ears!

Jen K said...

There are actually spas that offer this crap as a valid spa treatment, like a pedicure...

Joie Mayfield said...

I used an ear candle back in August, and all it did was leave my head smelling like smoke, haha.

adam said...

so incredibly funny!! i heard about the ear candle thing a few years back. someone even gave me one as a joke. did you take pictures of the ear candle? i would have loved to have seen you sitting there w/ the candle in your ear. *sigh*

Robin said...

Sorry you got scammed, but it was DANG funny to read about.

Millie said...

This is totally off the subject, but have you ever visited the site www.myheritage.com? It uses a photograph to yourself and lets you know what celebrities you most closely resemble. It's so fun!

Millie said...

Sorry...it uses a photograph OF yourself, not TO yourself.

sdixon82 said...

I've seen my friends do this and it really seems to be earwax on the paper...I mean they smelled it and touched it and everything nasty. I don't know, people have been doing it for centuries...

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the process of ear coning or ear candling. It is very relaxing and soothing. I really just wish people could understand the true facts about it. Most of the info people get is all common miss conception and untrue facts. I have done a fair amount of research and found a couple of great places that provide excellent information.

http://www.earcandleblog.com

http://www.wallysnatural.com/ear-candling-faq

Anonymous said...

I have used ear candles for almost ten years. It does work and its ear wax when u open it. I've never had any problems and I always hear better afterwards.

ladyjane said...

I've done it once and can not wait to do it again. Loved it

ladyjane said...

I did it once and can not wait to do it again. Loved it

Anonymous said...

I have don it, done it on others and will most definitely do it again because it most certainly DOES work! I will help with sinus problem patients, people that have pressure issues with the inner ear and people with wax buildup issues. When you buy the ear cones from a good reputable company you do not have to worry about any wax "dripping" into your ear. I have never had such a problem!! It is a very relaxing process. Very warm and actually feels good as it warmly begins removing the "gunk" of daily living that can build up in your ear canal. It can make a wonderful difference. I am really sorry for the lack of correct information that you obtained from the internet.