Can Scented Candles Cause Sore Throat

Do scented candles give you a sore throat? Find out if those cozy flickering flames could be causing your discomfort.

Scented candles have gained popularity for creating a warm ambiance, but they can also have negative health effects. You may experience allergic reactions, including a runny nose, headaches, and watering eyes. These symptoms can be triggered by the fragrance, wick, wax, and particulate matter emitted when the candle burns.

To minimize the risk, choose natural candles made from beeswax or soy wax and avoid synthetic fragrances.

Key Takeaways

– Scented candles can potentially cause a sore throat as one of the allergic reactions.
– Traditional paraffin wax candles and synthetic fragrances in candles can trigger allergies and irritate the respiratory system, leading to a sore throat.
– Choosing candles made with essential oils or natural fragrances, such as beeswax or soy wax candles, can help prevent a sore throat.
– It is important to examine the candle wick and avoid burning candles with lead-core wicks, as they can emit harmful chemicals that irritate the throat.

Allergic Reactions to Scented Candles


Scented candles can cause allergic reactions, such as a runny nose, sore throat, headaches, trouble breathing, and watering eyes.

When you light a scented candle, the fragrance released into the air can trigger these symptoms in individuals who are sensitive or allergic to certain fragrances. The chemicals present in the candle’s fragrance can irritate your nasal passages, leading to a runny nose and sore throat. In some cases, the strong scent of the candle can also cause headaches.

If you have respiratory issues or asthma, the particles released when the candle is burned can make it difficult for you to breathe properly. Additionally, the scent can irritate your eyes, causing them to water.

If you experience any of these symptoms after being around scented candles, it’s best to avoid them and opt for unscented alternatives instead.

Runny Nose


If you experience a runny nose after burning candles, it could be due to the fragrance or chemicals emitted by the candle. The scent of the candle can trigger allergic reactions, causing your nose to run. Additionally, certain chemicals found in candles, such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), can irritate your nasal passages and lead to a runny nose. To help you understand the different factors that can contribute to a runny nose from candles, here is a table:

FragranceThe fragrance of the candle can contain allergens that can cause a runny nose.
Candle wickSome older candles with lead-core wicks can emit chemicals that irritate your nose.
Candle waxParaffin wax from petroleum can release low levels of chemicals when burned.

Sore Throat


When burning candles, you may experience a scratchy feeling in your throat. This can happen for a few different reasons.

One possibility is that you may be having an allergic reaction to the scent of the candle. Fragrances in candles can sometimes irritate your throat and cause discomfort.

Another potential cause is the candle wick itself. If the wick contains lead, it can release chemicals into the air when burned, which can irritate your throat.

Additionally, the type of wax used in the candle can also play a role. Paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, can release low levels of chemicals when burned, potentially triggering allergies and causing a sore throat.

To avoid these issues, consider choosing natural candles made from beeswax or soy wax, and opt for candles scented with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances.



To alleviate headaches when burning candles, try opting for natural alternatives like beeswax or soy wax candles scented with essential oils. These natural candles are free from the harmful chemicals often found in traditional paraffin wax candles, which can trigger headaches in sensitive individuals.

The essential oils used to scent these natural candles are derived from plants and can have calming and soothing effects on the mind and body, helping to alleviate headaches.

Additionally, beeswax and soy wax candles burn cleaner and produce less soot and smoke, which can also contribute to headaches.

Trouble Breathing


Opt for natural alternatives like beeswax or soy wax candles scented with essential oils to help alleviate trouble breathing caused by traditional paraffin wax candles. Here are three reasons why these natural alternatives can be beneficial for your respiratory health:

1. Reduced chemical emissions: Unlike paraffin wax candles, which can release low levels of chemicals when burned, natural candles made from beeswax or soy wax emit fewer toxins into the air. This can help improve the air quality in your home and reduce the risk of respiratory irritation.

2. Soothing essential oils: Scented candles made with essential oils can provide a calming and soothing effect on your respiratory system. Certain essential oils, such as eucalyptus or lavender, have been known to promote clearer breathing and relaxation.

3. Allergy-friendly options: If you have allergies or sensitivities, natural candles are a safer choice. Synthetic fragrances commonly found in traditional candles can trigger allergies and irritate the respiratory system. By opting for natural alternatives, you can enjoy the ambiance and scent of candles without the worry of respiratory discomfort.

Watering Eyes


If you’re experiencing watering eyes when burning scented candles, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. The fragrance of the candle, along with other factors like the candle wick and wax, can trigger such symptoms. In the table below, you can see the different causes for watering eyes from scented candles:

FactorsPossible CausesEffects
Fragrance of the candleChemicals in the fragranceIrritation of the eyes
Candle wickLead-core wicks emitted chemicals (older candles)Eye irritation and redness
Candle waxParaffin wax from petroleumRelease of chemicals that may irritate the eyes

To prevent watering eyes, consider choosing candles made with natural ingredients like beeswax or soy wax, and avoid synthetic fragrances. Additionally, opt for candles with cotton or wooden wicks, as they are less likely to emit harmful chemicals.

Other Causes of Sore Throats From Candles


Consider checking the fragrance, wick, and wax of the candles to identify other potential causes for your sore throat. Here are three factors to pay attention to:

1. Fragrance: Some scented candles contain synthetic fragrances that can irritate your throat. Opt for candles made with essential oils or natural fragrances to minimize the risk.

2. Wick: Traditional lead-core wicks have been found to emit harmful chemicals when burned. Look for modern candles with cotton or wooden wicks instead. You can even rub the wick against a piece of paper to check for lead residue.

3. Wax: Candles made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, can release low levels of chemicals when burned. This may trigger allergies and contribute to a sore throat. Consider choosing candles made from beeswax or soy wax as healthier alternatives.

Fragrance of the Candle


When choosing a candle, be mindful of the fragrance to avoid potential throat irritation. Some scented candles contain synthetic fragrances that can cause throat irritation and other allergic reactions. These fragrances are made up of various chemicals that can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals.

If you have a history of throat irritation or allergies, it’s important to choose candles that are made with natural fragrances, such as essential oils. Look for candles made from beeswax or soy wax, as these tend to have a milder scent and are less likely to cause throat irritation.

Avoid candles with synthetic fragrances, as these can release chemicals when burned and may exacerbate throat irritation. By selecting candles with natural fragrances, you can enjoy a pleasant scent without the risk of throat irritation.

Candle Wick


To ensure a safe burning experience, check the wick of the candle for any signs of lead by rubbing it against a piece of paper. This simple test can help you determine if your candle wick contains any harmful chemicals.

Here are three important things to keep in mind when examining the wick:

1. Lead-core wicks emitted chemicals: In the past, some candle wicks were made with a lead core, which could release harmful substances when burned. Nowadays, most modern candles use cotton or wooden wicks that are free from lead.

2. Modern candles have cotton or wooden wicks: Look for candles that explicitly state they have cotton or wooden wicks. These alternatives are safer and do not pose the same risks as lead-core wicks.

3. Rub wick against paper to check for lead: Take a piece of paper and gently rub the wick against it. If you see any gray or black marks, it could be an indication of lead presence. In such cases, it’s best to avoid burning the candle to prevent any potential health hazards.

Are Scented Candles a Common Cause of Sore Throats?

Many people often wonder about the connection between scented candles and throat irritation. While scented candles can create a cozy ambiance in homes, they can also release harmful chemicals that may lead to sore throats and other respiratory issues. It’s important to be mindful of the quality of scented candles used in indoor spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Potential Health Risks Associated With Burning Scented Candles?

Burning scented candles can potentially pose health risks. Some possible concerns include allergic reactions, such as a sore throat, runny nose, and headaches. Other factors include the fragrance, wick, wax, and the quality of the air.

Can Scented Candles Worsen Existing Respiratory Conditions?

Scented candles can worsen existing respiratory conditions. They may trigger allergies and cause symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, and trouble breathing. Consider using natural candles with essential oils to reduce the risk.

Are There Any Specific Ingredients in Scented Candles That Can Cause Sore Throats?

Yes, specific ingredients in scented candles can cause sore throats. Fragrances, candle wicks, and candle wax can release chemicals that may trigger allergies and irritate your throat. Consider natural alternatives to avoid this issue.

How Can I Determine if a Scented Candle Is Safe to Burn?

To determine if a scented candle is safe to burn, check for natural ingredients like beeswax or soy wax, and candles made with essential oils. Avoid synthetic fragrances and consider any allergies you may have.

Are There Any Alternatives to Scented Candles That Can Still Create a Pleasant Fragrance in My Home Without Causing Sore Throats?

There are alternatives to scented candles that can create a pleasant fragrance in your home without causing sore throats. Consider using natural candles made from beeswax or soy wax, or candles made with essential oils. Avoid synthetic fragrances.