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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

FDA Cracks Down on Ear Candles

By February 22, 2010

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The FDA has issued a public warning regarding the use of ear candles. Ear candles are a trendy way of removing ear wax and are marketed as able to remove impurities from the ear and heal all kinds of ENT disorders including ear infections. You should keep in mind that the purpose of ear wax is to keep impurities out of the ear in the first place and does not need to be removed under most circumstances. The FDA says they've been receiving reports of burns and other injuries including ear blockages caused by the candle wax.

Ear candles are made from a hollow fabric tube which is then soaked in paraffin, beeswax or other types of wax and are approximately ten inches long. When used they draw beneficial wax out of the ear and can cause burns. According to the FDA the candles have recently been marketed for use in children, a practice that the FDA considers dangerous. There is no scientific evidence that ear candles are beneficial to your health in any way. The FDA is asking that you report any injuries you may have as a result of ear candles online at www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm.

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