GB2318736A - Method and Apparatus for Ear Irrigation - Google Patents

Method and Apparatus for Ear Irrigation Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2318736A
GB2318736A GB9722875A GB9722875A GB2318736A GB 2318736 A GB2318736 A GB 2318736A GB 9722875 A GB9722875 A GB 9722875A GB 9722875 A GB9722875 A GB 9722875A GB 2318736 A GB2318736 A GB 2318736A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
probe
pump
fluid
characterised
ear
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9722875A
Other versions
GB9722875D0 (en
Inventor
Leslie Rippon Smith
Christopher Taylor
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Bridge House Laboratories Ltd
BRIDGE HOUSE LAB Ltd
Original Assignee
* BRIDGE HOUSE LABORATORIES LTD
BRIDGE HOUSE LAB LTD
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GBGB9622594.1A priority Critical patent/GB9622594D0/en
Application filed by * BRIDGE HOUSE LABORATORIES LTD, BRIDGE HOUSE LAB LTD filed Critical * BRIDGE HOUSE LABORATORIES LTD
Publication of GB9722875D0 publication Critical patent/GB9722875D0/en
Publication of GB2318736A publication Critical patent/GB2318736A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M3/00Medical syringes, e.g. enemata; Irrigators
    • A61M3/02Enemata; Irrigators
    • A61M3/0233Enemata; Irrigators characterised by liquid supply means, e.g. from pressurised reservoirs
    • A61M3/0254Enemata; Irrigators characterised by liquid supply means, e.g. from pressurised reservoirs the liquid being pumped
    • A61M3/0258Enemata; Irrigators characterised by liquid supply means, e.g. from pressurised reservoirs the liquid being pumped by means of electric pumps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2210/00Anatomical parts of the body
    • A61M2210/06Head
    • A61M2210/0662Ears

Abstract

A method for the irrigation and cleansing of the ear passage relies on a pulsing fluid pump 100, equipped with a water tank 40, and driven by an electric motor 80. A valve 35 controls the supply of water to the pump and hence the pump back pressure such that the pump gives variable frequency pulses as well as high pressure pulses at low frequency and low pressure pulses at high frequency. A flexible tube 101 delivers the fluid pulses to the ear via a hollow plastic probe 24. The probe, which is equipped with a handle 250, has apertures such that the direction of the pulse is substantially perpendicular to the length of the probe.

Description

Cleansing Apparatus and Methods This invention relates to cleansing apparatus and methods, and more specifically to apparatus and methods for cleansing ear passages of humans and animals.

Although the following discussion relates primarily to the cleansing of human ears, it will be appreciated that the invention may just as readily be used in the cleansing of animal ears.

There are currently two methods of cleansing the ears of humans, which may become clogged with secretions of sebaceous glands within the ear, the most common being ear wax, and also through natural skin exfoliation. The first and most expedient method involves the use of a cotton bud mounted on the end of a thin plastic rod which is inserted in the ear and manoeuvred therein by the cleanser. Although this method is widely practised, it provides only a temporary remedy against a more pervasive condition, and such cleansing must generally be effected on at least a daily basis to provide any noticeable benefit.

The alternative to this method is complete aural irrigation which is usually carried out by a doctor or nurse who has been trained in the use of aural irrigation equipment. This method involves the squirting of a continuous jet of water through a nozzle placed inside the ear, and more specifically inside the external auditory meatus of the ear. It is in this outer region of the ear that sebaceous secretions most commonly coagulate, in extreme cases forming a viscous wax which has a deleterious effect on the hearing of the human. It is important to point out that this outer region of the ear does not contain any of the delicate membranes or Eustachian tubes which are required for the hearing or balance of the human, and therefore may be safely irrigated.

The continuous jet of water used in this method may not dislodge some of the more solid sebaceous secretions within the ear, resulting in incomplete cleansing. Furthermore, the use of a continuous jet of water, which may be pressurised, may inflict pain on inflamed, damaged or swollen tissue or membranes within the ear as a result of prolonged water jet contact therewith.

It is object of this invention to simplify and improve the aural irrigation process to such an extent that it may be effected by persons with only minimal training.

It is further object of the invention to ensure that the aural irrigation process is complete, even in cases where tissues or membranes within the ear may be damaged, inflamed, or swollen.

According to the invention there is provided apparatus for cleansing and irrigating ear passages of animals and humans which causes fluid to pass through a hollow probe inserted in the ear, characterised in that the fluid is caused to pass through said probe by a pulsing pump such that fluid passing from the probe into the ear does so in a pulsating manner.

It is preferable that the frequency of the fluid pulses from the probe is variable.

It is also preferable that the pulsing pump is adapted to provide high pressure fluid pulses at low frequency and low pressure fluid pulses at high frequency, and that the frequency of the fluid pulses, and thus the pressure thereof, is variable.

It is further preferable that the said apparatus comprises an electric motor powering a pulsing fluid pump arrangement, the pump arrangement being of the variable volume type having a pump back pressure controlled by means of a valve such that as the pump back pressure is decreased by means of the valve, the pulse rate of the pump increases.

It is yet further preferable that the fluid is caused to flow through a probe attached to said equipment and squirt from at least one aperture in the probe, such that the direction of squirt of the fluid is substantially perpendicular to the length of the probe.

It is also preferable that the probe is provided with two apertures oppositely disposed of the cross section of the probe.

Further preferably, the probe is manufactured in a plastics material which may be flexible to facilitate insertion into the ear.

In a most preferable embodiment of the invention, the apparatus is operated by a foot-switch.

It is further preferable that the pulsing pump is fitted with a valve limiter such that the back pressure of the fluid emerging from the pump is restricted to 40psi.

The invention in its various aspects is surprisingly effective as a result of the pulsing of the fluid from the probe within the ear.

A specific embodiment of the invention is now described by way of example with reference to the accompanying Figures wherein: Fig. 1 shows a sectional view through a human ear and a probe according to the invention prior to entry into the ear; Fig. 2 shows an exploded perspective view of the components of the pulsing pump apparatus according to the invention; Fig. 3 shows the pulse frequency/water pressure characteristic in graphical format; Figs. 4-7 shows perspective views of probes of different possible configurations for use with the invention Referring to Figure 1, a human ear 2 has a lobe 4 containing an auricle 10 leading to an external auditory meatus 12 which terminates in a tympanic membrane 14. A middle ear 16 and an inner ear 18 are located behind the tympanic membrane 14, and sebaceous glands generally referenced at 20 surround the external auditory meatus 12.

Figure 1 also shows in section the end of a probe 24 which is provided centrally with a capillary 26 and a tip 28 behind which are located oppositely disposed apertures 30 to which the capillary 26 is connected.

Referring to Figure 2, reference 80 indicates a DC motor which is arranged to drive a small pinion 81A, which in use meshes with a large gear wheel 130. Gear wheel 130 has a crank pin which engages with a connecting rod 131 of a pump unit 100, the output of which is supplied to flexible tube 101 to the end of which is connected a handle 250, and the handle in turn receives the probe 24, the end of which is shown in Figure 1. A jet of water at pulse frequency issues from the tip of the probe, the velocity of which is dictated by the pump 100, which is in turn driven by the motor 80.

An on/off switch is provided for switching the equipment on and off, and 70 represents a water regulator which is connected to the end of the pump 100 so as to permit effective control of same for varying output from the probe 24.

A transformer 90 receives electrical power from an AC input cable 220, and 81 and 82 represent a rectifier and capacitor respectively so that the AC power can be used for driving the DC motor 80.

40 represents a water tank, and a valve 35 controls a supply of water to the pump 100 from the tank 40.

In use, when the DC motor is rotating, it rotates pinion 81A which in turn rotates gear 130, which in turn effects reciprocation of the pump connecting rod 131, which in turn causes pumping of the water through the pump 100, the flexible tube 101, the handle 250 and eventually out of the probe 24. The pulse rate of the jet from the probe 24 (through the apertures 30) is dictated by the speed of the motor.

Figure 3 shows the variation of pulse frequency with the pressure of the water issuing from the probe 24 which is provided by the invention. The ability of the pulsing pump equipment of Figure 2 to issue very high frequency pulses of water from the probe 24 at very low pressures is ideal for irrigation of aural cavities such as the external auditory meatus shown in Figure 1, as the likelihood of damage to sensitive membranes and tissues within such cavities by pressured water is substantially reduced. It is envisaged that such equipment may not only be used for aural irrigation, but also to clean any sensitive or damaged area of human or animal flesh, whether internal or external.

It is therefore possible to use the equipment for the irrigation of ears in which the external auditory meatus 12 may be inflamed or the tissue thereof may be damaged, where use of existing apparatus which issues high pressure pulses of water at high frequency would be precluded.

Figures 4 to 7 show different types of probes 24a-d provided with apertures 30a-d which may be attached to handle 250 and used in the invention. Probes 24a, b are most preferred, but circumstances may require that a particular probe be used for the irrigative procedure.

Referring again to Figure 1, once the probe 24 has been inserted within the external auditory meatus 12 and the pulsing pump equipment has been activated, either by depressing the on/off switch thereon, or activating the equipment by depressing a foot switch (not shown), the user of the probe may rotate the probe within the ear to achieve complete irrigation and cleansing of the tissue and flesh within the external auditory meatus 12. Such rotation may be effected where either of the probes shown in Figures 4, 5 are attached to the handle 250 of the equipment.

Claims (9)

CLAIMS:
1. Apparatus for cleansing and irrigating ear passages of animals and humans which causes fluid to pass through a hollow probe inserted in the ear, characterised in that the fluid is caused to pass through said probe by a pulsing pump such that fluid passing from the probe into the ear does so in a pulsating manner.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 characterised in that the frequency of the fluid pulses from the probe is variable.
3. Apparatus according to either claim 1 or 2 characterised in that the pulsing pump is adapted to provide high pressure fluid pulses at low frequency and low pressure fluid pulses at high frequency, and that the frequency of the fluid pulses, and thus the pressure thereof, is variable.
4. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims characterised in that the said apparatus comprises an electric motor powering a pulsing fluid pump arrangement, the pump arrangement being of the variable volume type having a pump back pressure controlled by means of a valve such that as the pump back pressure is decreased by means of the valve, the pulse rate of the pump increases.
5. Apparatus according to any preceding claim characterised in that the fluid is caused to flow through a probe attached to said equipment and squirt from at least one aperture in the probe, such that the direction of squirt of the fluid is substantially perpendicular to the length of the probe.
6. Apparatus according to claim 5 characterised in that the probe is provided with two apertures oppositely disposed of the cross section of the probe.
7. Apparatus according to either claim 5 or 6 characterised in that the probe is manufactured in a plastics material which may be flexible to facilitate insertion into the ear.
8. Apparatus according to any of the preceding claims characterised in that the apparatus is operated by a foot-switch.
9. Apparatus according to any of claims 4-8 characterised in that the pulsing pump is fitted with a valve limiter such that the back pressure of the fluid emerging from the pump is restricted to 40psi.
GB9722875A 1996-10-30 1997-10-30 Method and Apparatus for Ear Irrigation Withdrawn GB2318736A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GBGB9622594.1A GB9622594D0 (en) 1996-10-30 1996-10-30 Improvements relating to cleansing apparatus and methods

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9722875D0 GB9722875D0 (en) 1997-12-24
GB2318736A true GB2318736A (en) 1998-05-06

Family

ID=10802173

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GBGB9622594.1A Pending GB9622594D0 (en) 1996-10-30 1996-10-30 Improvements relating to cleansing apparatus and methods
GB9722875A Withdrawn GB2318736A (en) 1996-10-30 1997-10-30 Method and Apparatus for Ear Irrigation

Family Applications Before (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GBGB9622594.1A Pending GB9622594D0 (en) 1996-10-30 1996-10-30 Improvements relating to cleansing apparatus and methods

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (2) GB9622594D0 (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2003103748A1 (en) * 2002-06-05 2003-12-18 John Macrae Ear irrigation device
DE102012102494A1 (en) * 2012-03-22 2013-09-26 Christian Mutti Device for cleaning e.g. inner ear of human by using water, has drive unit supported in housing and axially driven by paddle, and medium container arranged in housing, where rotation direction of paddle is adjustable
US8568348B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2013-10-29 Alternamedics Llc Medication delivery device

Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4108167A (en) * 1977-01-31 1978-08-22 Teledyne Industries, Inc. Dental syringe
GB2136690A (en) * 1983-03-17 1984-09-26 George Thomas Watts Surgical irrigator/evacuator
US4655197A (en) * 1982-12-01 1987-04-07 Snyder Laboratories, Inc. Lavage system with variable frequency, flow rate and pressure
WO1991017112A1 (en) * 1990-05-04 1991-11-14 Sultan Chemists, Inc. Irrigation system and method for delivering a selected one of multiple liquid solutions to a treatment site
WO1992010223A1 (en) * 1990-12-07 1992-06-25 Simeon B Schreiber Method and apparatus for administering otologic medicament
WO1992012759A1 (en) * 1991-01-22 1992-08-06 Ginsberg Irwin A Automated ear cleansing device
WO1993008775A1 (en) * 1991-11-08 1993-05-13 Hb Proxima Air pressure generator
WO1996025188A1 (en) * 1995-02-15 1996-08-22 C. R. Bard, Inc. Pulsed lavage pump
GB2310143A (en) * 1996-02-15 1997-08-20 Squibb Bristol Myers Co Lavage instrument

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4108167A (en) * 1977-01-31 1978-08-22 Teledyne Industries, Inc. Dental syringe
US4655197A (en) * 1982-12-01 1987-04-07 Snyder Laboratories, Inc. Lavage system with variable frequency, flow rate and pressure
GB2136690A (en) * 1983-03-17 1984-09-26 George Thomas Watts Surgical irrigator/evacuator
WO1991017112A1 (en) * 1990-05-04 1991-11-14 Sultan Chemists, Inc. Irrigation system and method for delivering a selected one of multiple liquid solutions to a treatment site
WO1992010223A1 (en) * 1990-12-07 1992-06-25 Simeon B Schreiber Method and apparatus for administering otologic medicament
WO1992012759A1 (en) * 1991-01-22 1992-08-06 Ginsberg Irwin A Automated ear cleansing device
WO1993008775A1 (en) * 1991-11-08 1993-05-13 Hb Proxima Air pressure generator
WO1996025188A1 (en) * 1995-02-15 1996-08-22 C. R. Bard, Inc. Pulsed lavage pump
GB2310143A (en) * 1996-02-15 1997-08-20 Squibb Bristol Myers Co Lavage instrument

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2003103748A1 (en) * 2002-06-05 2003-12-18 John Macrae Ear irrigation device
US6949088B2 (en) 2002-06-05 2005-09-27 Earigate Inc. Ear irrigation device
AU2003233727B2 (en) * 2002-06-05 2006-08-31 Earigate Inc. Ear irrigation device
EP1941921A1 (en) 2002-06-05 2008-07-09 Earigate Inc. Ear irrigation device
CN100531811C (en) 2002-06-05 2009-08-26 伊里盖特公司 Ear rinsing device
US8568348B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2013-10-29 Alternamedics Llc Medication delivery device
US8834410B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2014-09-16 Alternamedics Llc Medication Delivery Device
US8956333B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2015-02-17 Alternamedics Llc Medication delivery device
US9272084B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2016-03-01 Alternamedics Llc Medication delivery device
DE102012102494A1 (en) * 2012-03-22 2013-09-26 Christian Mutti Device for cleaning e.g. inner ear of human by using water, has drive unit supported in housing and axially driven by paddle, and medium container arranged in housing, where rotation direction of paddle is adjustable

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB9622594D0 (en) 1997-01-08
GB9722875D0 (en) 1997-12-24

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)