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J Laryngol Otol. 2004 Jan;118(1):1-2.

Ear candles: a triumph of ignorance over science.

Author information

1
Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth, Exeter, UK. Edzard.Ernst@pms.ac.uk

Abstract

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 have been associated with ear injuries. The inescapable conclusion is that ear candles do more harm than good. Their use should be discouraged.

PMID:
14979962
DOI:
10.1258/002221504322731529
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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