A custom manufactured pressure-relief valve has improved the operation of an earwax removal device. The valve Model 130 with 3/8-in OD from Smart Products is customized with a plastic body, special O-ring material, and precise opening psi. The customized components ensure the valve works precisely within the Earigator. Pressure control is critical so the Model #130 valve is the first line of security within this system. Should the water pressure reach a certain point, the Model #130 activates to divert pressurized water back to the reservoir. For additional safety, a pressure switch shuts off the Earigator system completely, if needed.
The original device was invented in the 1990s by Otologist Dr. Irwin Ginsberg. He and others noted that too much earwax – cerumen – can lead to ear pain, ringing, itching, or loss of hearing. Because ears are delicate sensors, people are often advised to seek professional treatment. Formerly, most ears were cleared of cerumen by irrigating with a syringe. Ginsberg, however, noted several drawbacks, such as a risk of injuring the ear’s external canal or the eardrum itself. This manual procedure puts a stream of pressure from three to more than 110 psi depending on the applied force. There is also a lack of precise temperature control, general messiness, and patient discomfort. Medical-device manufacturer Nupur Technologies acquired right to the unit and improved it several ways.
“We have re-engineered the Earigator to a state-of-the-art design with improved features. We have also significantly reduced costs. The product today will sell at less than half of the previous design,” says Nupur Technologies CEO Joseph Priest.
The Earigator improves and controls what had been an old technique. “Cleaning earwax is a common procedure, but no one ever thought about improving the control and speed with which the procedure could be accomplished,” says Priest
The newly launched Earigator addresses all the issues with solution temperature controlled to 98ºF (37°C) and pressure from 10 to 12 psi. The design now combines the functions of an otoscope (ear scope) and irrigation device in one product. The otoscope lets users clearly view and pinpoint the cerumen buildup before and during the procedure.
The hand piece includes a flow control trigger, water nozzle, magnifying glass, and LED lights. A procedure usually lasts three to five minutes. The Earigator makes earwax removal safer, faster, less messy, and with less patient discomfort.