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  • Cited by 7
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Schneider, Glenn Todd and Crane, Benjamin T. 2014. In Vitro Efficacy of a Consumer-Marketed Ear Cleaning Tool. Otology & Neurotology, Vol. 35, Issue. 5, p. e195.

    Conover, Keith 2013. Earache. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, Vol. 31, Issue. 2, p. 413.

    2013. Tinnitus: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

    Ernst, E. 2012. Alternative detox. British Medical Bulletin, Vol. 101, Issue. 1, p. 33.

    Ernst, Edzard 2009. ‘Detox’. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Vol. 14, Issue. 3, p. 163.

    Zackaria, Mohamed and Aymat, Antony 2009. Ear candling: A case report. European Journal of General Practice, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 168.

    Mac Manus, MP 2008. Unproven medical devices and cancer therapy: big claims but no evidence. Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal, Vol. 4, Issue. 3,


Ear candles: a triumph of ignorance over science

  • E. Ernst (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 January 2004

Ear candles are hollow tubes coated in wax which are inserted into patients’ ears and then lit at the far end. The procedure is used as a complementary therapy for a wide range of conditions. A critical assessment of the evidence shows that its mode of action is implausible and demonstrably wrong. There are no data to suggest that it is effective for any condition. Furthermore, ear candles havebeen associated with ear injuries. The inescapable conclusion is that ear candles do more harm than good. Their use should be discouraged.

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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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