US 3651808 A
An ear syringe comprising an integrally formed flexible bulb for receiving an irrigation fluid, a tube for discharging irrigating fluid from the bulb into an ear canal, and a receptacle for accumulating fluid and dislodged cerumen emerging from the ear canal. To facilitate positioning of the receptacle directly below the lobe of an ear being irrigated, the discharge tube is disposed above and substantially parallel to a plane defined by an open top of the receptacle.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
llnitedl States Patent White EAR SYRINGE  Inventor: Ira C. White, 67 Washington Street,
Natick, Mass. 01760  Filed: Nov. 10, 1969  App]. No.: 875,144
 11.8. C1 ..l28/232, 128/239  Int. Cl. .A6lm 1/00,A61m 3/00  Field 01 Search ..128/224, 225, 230-232, 128/239-242, 245, 24825l, 260
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 88,695 4/1869 Davidson ..l28/231 671,346 4/1901 Lochmannm,
2,612,894 10/1952 Akins ..128/232X [451 Mar. 28, 1972 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 558,613 7/1957 Belgium ..l28/231 112,735 8/1900 Germany ..128/240 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Ronald L. Frinks Attorney-John E. Toupal  ABSTRACT An ear syringe comprising an integrally formed flexible bulb for receiving an irrigation fluid, a tube for discharging irrigating fluid from the bulb into an ear canal, and a receptacle for accumulating fluid and dislodged cerumen emerging from the ear canal. To facilitate positioning of the receptacle directly below the lobe of an ear being irrigated, the discharge tube is disposed above and substantially parallel to a plane defined by an open top of the receptacle.
2 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a device for irrigating cavities in the human anatomy and is particularly suited for use by an individual for removing cerumen or other foreign matter from the auditory canal of the external ear.
Many persons suffer from hearing problems resulting from an accumulation of cerumen or earwax that is secreted excessively from glands of the external ear. This cerumen build-up, particularly if in contact with the typanic membrane, can seriously degrade ones hearing and/or produce the well-known ringing phenomenon. The best known method for alleviating this problem is to forcibly dispel] the accumulated cerumen with a stream of suitable fluid injected into the auditory canal. According to present techniques, the injection is made with a conventional hollow bulb syringe and the fluid returning from the ear is collected in a separate pan known as a kidney basin held under the ear being irrigated. The procedure is awkward and often untidy primarily because of the cumbersome requirement for simultaneously handling both the syringe and the collection vessel.
The object of this invention, therefore, is to provide an improved ear syringe that permits more expeditious and convenient irrigation of ear canals than presently known devices of that type. I
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is characterized by the provision of an ear syringe including as integral parts a hollow flexible bulb for receiving a suitable irrigation fluid, a discharge tube having an interior passage in fluid communication with an interior of the flexible bulb and suitable for insertion into the outer ear, and a receptacle for collecting fluid emerging from the ear cavity. To insure desired positioning of the receptacle below the lobe of an ear being irrigated, upon insertion of the tube into the ear cavity, the plane defined by an open top of the receptacle is substantially parallel to the discharge tube.
One feature of the invention is the provision of an ear syringe of the above type wherein the fluid discharge tube is longitudinally adjustable relative to the receptacle so as to pennit adjustment of the distance that the tube extends beyond the outer edge of the receptacle. According to this feature the position of the tube can be altered to accommodate ear cavities of various sizes.
Another feature of the invention is the provision of an ear syringe of the above types wherein the receptacle comprises an exterior wall having a reentrant portion disposed directly below the fluid discharge tube. The reentrant portion of the wall portion enhances the collection capability of the receptacle by more closely conforming to the outer surface of the patient's body portion located below the ear.
Still another feature of the invention is the provision of an ear syringe of the above types wherein a top wall surface of the receptacle comprises a recessed portion disposed directly below the fluid discharge tube. The recess in the receptacle wall accommodates the lobe of the ear being treated thereby also enhancing the fluid collection capability of the receptacle.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects and features of the present invention will become more apparent upon a perusal of the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 2-2 in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the invention embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
2 DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, there is shown an ear syringe 11 including a hollow collapsible bulb l2 and a head portion 13. A hollow cylindrical extension 14 of the bulb I2 is fitted over an accommodating stem 15 on the head 13 and abuts against an annular shoulder 16 thereon. The bulb 12 is retained on the stem 15 by an outwardly flared rim 17. A channel 18 in the head portion 13 provides fluid communication between the collapsible bulb 12 and an elongated hollow passage 19 in a cylindrical extension 21. Slidably fitted into the hollow passage 19 is a slightly flexible fluid injection tube 22 having a rounded nozzle termination 23.
Formed with the head portion 13 is an open-top receptacle 25. The wall forming the receptacle 25 has an upper edge 26 lying in a plane that is substantially parallel to the adjacent fluid injection tube 22. Included in the upper edge 26 is a recessed edge portion 27 located directly below the injection tube 22. The outer surface of the receptacle 25 includes a reentrant portion 28 disposed directly below the fluid injection tube 22 and including the recessed edge portion 27.
To use the syringe 11, the bulb 12 is filled with a suitable fluid, such as warm soapy water, in the conventional manner by first collapsing the bulb l2 and then permitting the expanding bulb to draw fluid in through the tube 22 and the channel 18. The device 11 is then positioned at the base of the patients head with the recessed wall portion 27 accommodating the lobe of the ear being treated and the reentrant wall portion 28 contacting the body portion directly below the ear. As this operation is easily accomplished with one hand, the operator's other hand can be used to manipulate the somewhat flexible tube 22 and direct the nozzle 23 into the auditory canal. Next, the bulb 12 is again depressed producing a discharge of the retained fluid through the nozzle 23 and into the surrounding ear canal. The injected fluid and dislodged cerumen flowing out of the ear are collected by the strategically located receptacle 25.
Thus, the present invention provides an ear syringe that can be easily and expeditiously utilized to remove cerumen accumulated in the auditory canal. Furthermore, the syringe can be self-employed by a person without wetting clothing or surroundings. The flexible tube 22 enters the opening to the exterior ear canal easily and painlessly even when the operator cannot see because of poor lighting or lack or mirrors. The fluid is directed into the canal where it is wanted, and not against the outer pan of the external ear as is frequently the case with presently known devices.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention can be practiced otherwise than specifically described.
What is claimed is:
1. An ear syringe comprising a hollow flexible bulb, said flexible bulb being fluid tightly sealed and adapted for filling with an irrigation fluid, a fluid discharge tube integral with said flexible bulb, said fluid discharge tube having an internal passage communicating with the interior of said hollow flexible bulb, a receptacle also integral with said bulb, said receptacle having an open top and being adapted to accumulate fluid received through said open top, said fluid discharge tube being disposed above and substantially parallel to the plane defined by said open top of said receptacle, said receptacle comprising an exterior wall having a reentrant portion disposed directly below said fluid discharge tube, and a nozzle termination on said fluid discharge tube, said nozzle termination adapted for insertion into an ear canal and projecting a distance beyond the outer edge of said receptacle in a direction parallel to the open top thereof.
2. An ear syringe according to claim 1 wherein said fluid discharge tube comprises segments longitudinally adjustable with respect to each other so as to permit alteration in the magnitude of said distance that said nozzle termination projects.