The Nunavut government is warning people after noting sales of ear candles on social media in the territory.
In a news release Friday, the territory's Health Department says sales of ear candles — which some believe pulls ear wax out of the ear canal — are happening in the Kivalliq region on social media.
"Ear candling can be dangerous and provides no proven medical benefits," states the news release.
The department says selling ear candles for medical reasons is illegal, and that Health Canada banned imports of the products into Canada.
The department says ear candling is an alternative practice that is believed to cure "several medical problems such as a buildup of ear wax, earaches, and sinus infections." It involves placing a hollow, burning candle in the ear.
Some risks, according to the government, are:
- Serious burns.
- Punctured ear drums.
- Temporary loss of hearing.
- Candle wax blocking the ear canal.
- Nearby objects catching on fire.
People are asked to visit their local health centres if they have concerns about their ears.