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Why OtoSet® is a Safe & Efficient Way to Remove your Patients' Earwax

Earwax accumulation is a pervasive ear-related issue that millions of people experience today and a leading reason people visit healthcare providers. In fact, earwax removal is one of the most common procedures ENT surgeons, audiologists, and other healthcare providers perform.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, over 35 million Americans are affected by excess or impacted earwax. Outdated tools and methods cause healthcare providers to spend greater time for less effective results. OtoSet® was designed to address these issues and provide an updated and efficient solution.

Current Ear Cleaning Practices
Ear care is a typically overlooked area when it comes to healthcare innovation. While this field has evolved, the technologies used for ear care remain largely outdated. Ear cleaning practices we use today began in 1821 when an otologist decided to use a bladder syringe to clean the ears. Little has changed from this method which means that standard practices haven’t changed much in over 200 years! Common methods for earwax removal include:

  • Ear irrigation: this practice involves flushing water or a saline solution into the ears using a syringe. This is used to soften earwax which then becomes loose enough to extract.
  • Suction: micro-suction involves using a suction device like a small vacuum aspirator which helps pull ear wax out of the ear.
  • Curette: a curette is a long and curved medical instrument that is used to scrape and remove earwax. This method tends to not be as common today due to risk.
These ear cleaning practices can be challenging and ineffective in a few ways. First, these methods can be messy with water and earwax spilling onto the patient. It can get especially messy if the removal process needs to be repeated a few times which tends to be the case. Injury may also occur when inserting sharp instruments, such as a curette, into the ear canal to remove earwax. Inserting instruments into the ear can lead to a perforated eardrum (a hole or tear in the eardrum) or other injuries, some of which can affect one’s hearing abilities.

In addition to being messy and risky, these practices are not very effective. It is estimated that for 30% of people who seek medical attention for earwax removal, standard practices fail to completely remove earwax. This highlights the challenges that both healthcare providers and patients can experience when it comes to these outdated practices for earwax removal.

OtoSet®’s 21st Century Solution
From true wireless earbuds to high-powered digital hearing aids, the devices we use with our ears have changed, so why shouldn’t the way we provide ear care

OtoSet® provides a safe and efficient way to remove patients' earwax. The world’s first automated ear cleaning system, OtoSet® offers an innovative solution. The wearable device - worn like a pair of over-the-ear headphones - maximizes micro-suction and irrigation technology to swiftly and effectively remove earwax.

OtoSet® was developed with the expertise of specialists like ENT surgeons and primary care physicians. Our goal was to offer a solution for the needs of healthcare providers in the field which required thoroughly understanding those needs. Integral to the research that was conducted to design the device was reaching out and working with various physicians who have extensive and daily knowledge of what is needed.

We used this expert knowledge, innovative technology, and sleek design to create OtoSet®. Disposable ear tips that attach to the headphones, spray a warm saline solution against the walls of the ear canal to soften earwax. These tips are designed to spray against the walls of the ear canal rather than at the eardrum.

Continuous micro-suction extracts the solution and earwax back through the nozzles and into disposable waste containers. With both the ear tips and waste containers being disposable, OtoSet® offers a contained and mess-free process. One cleaning cycle lasts 30 seconds compared to the 20+ minutes of current ear cleaning practices. Also, the rechargeable battery offers long-lasting support, allowing healthcare providers to perform more than 50 procedures on one single charge.

Not only is OtoSet® incredibly efficient but it is also effective and convenient for patients. It thoroughly removes earwax and is entirely automated, without the mess of the older methods. OtoSet® can streamline the earwax removal service at your practice, making the professional earwax removal service that you provide simple, efficient, and safe. Contact us to learn more about OtoSet® and how your practice can benefit from this new medical device!

How OtoSet® Helps with Symptoms of Impacted Earwax

How OtoSet® Helps with Symptoms of Impacted Earwax
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is prevented from reaching the inner ear. One of the most common culprits that block sound-waves from traveling through the ear canal is… impacted earwax! The accumulation of earwax is likely more common than you think.

Over 35 million people in the U.S. alone experience impacted earwax and 20 million people seek treatment for it annually. If not properly removed, accumulated earwax can contribute to various ear-related conditions including temporary conductive hearing loss and tinnitus - a ringing or buzzing-like noise in the ears. Fortunately, OtoSet® offers an easy solution that thoroughly removes earwax.

Conductive Hearing Loss: Causes & Symptoms
There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive, and mixed. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, resulting in permanent damage and chronic hearing loss. This differs from conductive hearing loss which occurs in the outer or middle ear. Physical blockages prevent sound-waves from traveling through the ear and reaching the inner ear where they are further processed. Common causes of conductive hearing loss include:
  • Earwax that accumulates in the ear canal
  • Fluid in the middle ear caused by colds or allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Perforated eardrum
  • An object that gets stuck in the ear
  • Benign tumors or growths
This results in temporary hearing loss, producing a range of symptoms including:
  • Difficulty hearing soft sounds
  • Louder sounds are distorted or muffled
  • Tinnitus: a ringing, buzzing, or clicking like noise that can be heard in one or both ears
  • Dizziness
  • Ear pain
  • Fluid or an odor coming from the ears
  • Feeling like your ears are full
Fortunately, there are effective treatment options that can alleviate symptoms.

Impacted Earwax
Treatment for conductive hearing loss depends on the underlying cause. Earwax is one of the most common factors that contribute to impaired hearing. Known as cerumen, earwax is a natural substance that the ears make which provides moisture and protection. Typically, earwax makes its way out of the ears naturally but often, earwax can accumulate. Several factors can cause earwax to build up in the ears:
  • Some people make more earwax than others
  • Inner ear disorders, ear infections
  • Growths in the ear canal
  • A narrowed ear canal
  • Autoimmune disorders

These factors can either cause more earwax to be produced or create blockages that prevent earwax from exiting the ears. Impacted earwax can lead to earaches, dizziness, feeling clogged, tinnitus, etc. so having it removed is important for ear health.

Treating Impacted Earwax with OtoSet®
A simple solution that tackles the problem of impacted earwax can be found with OtoSet®. OtoSet® is an automated ear cleaning system that facilitates the quick removal of earwax. Rather than relying on outdated techniques that can be both time-consuming and messy, OtoSet® has automated the process. The wearable device (resembling headphones) maximizes micro-suction and irrigation technology to swiftly remove earwax. Disposable eartips that are embedded in the over-the-ear portion of the headphones release a warm saline solution towards the walls of the ear canal. This softens ear wax as continuous micro-suction technology pulls the earwax into the disposable waste containers that are also attached to the device.

OtoSet®’s cleaning cycle is just 30 seconds compared to the 20 to 30 minutes it typically takes to manually remove earwax and clean the ears. OtoSet® is also extremely easy to use, allowing healthcare providers to efficiently and effectively extract earwax. Developed with the expertise of hearing healthcare specialists, OtoSet® ensures that it provides optimal earwax removal.

If you experience excess earwax, be sure to be evaluated by your primary care provider or a hearing healthcare specialist, such as an audiologist or ENT. These professionals provide safe and efficient earwax services. Ask them about OtoSet® and how you can benefit from its use.

How to Use OtoSet®: A Guide

How to Use OtoSet®: A Guide

Our team at SafKan Health is well aware of the myriad frustrations of existing earwax removal options. Developed by a biomedical engineer who himself struggled with impacted earwax, OtoSet® was designed to be safe, effective, and efficient - both for patients as well as for healthcare providers.

Operationally, OtoSet® streamlines the earwax removal process and ushers the outdated procedure into the 21st century. Using and maintaining OtoSet® is quite simple. Here, we explore the various aspects of using and caring for this device.

OtoSet® for Earwax Removal
To use OtoSet® to provide safe and efficient earwax removal for your patients, here are a few things to consider.

Discuss candidacy for the procedure
This involves having a conversation with the patient to ensure that they are a good candidate for earwax removal via irrigation and microsuction technologies. Be sure to ask the patient about their hearing status, any symptoms they are experiencing, and history of ear surgery.

Explain how it works
OtoSet® is an innovative procedure to safely and efficiently clean your patient’s ears. Chances are, if your patients are already familiar with the earwax removal process, they may want to know more about OtoSet®.

Read or provide the patient with an overview of the procedure, as well general expectations and instructions. Be sure to ask if the patient has any questions that you can answer, and address any concerns they may have before beginning.

Here are the steps you could review with them:

  • Disposable ear tips release liquid from the solution containers which flows toward the walls of the ear canals. This safely and effectively breaks down earwax.
  • Continuous microsuction draws the softened earwax and liquid back through the ear tips and into the disposable waste containers.
  • One cleaning cycle lasts 30 seconds and depending on the severeness of the impaction, additional cleaning cycles can be run quickly and easily.

Setting up OtoSet®
Using OtoSet® starts with simply attaching the single patient disposables to the headset.

Attach Ear Tip(s)
The disposable eartips as well as the device itself are labeled L for the patient’s left and R for the patient’s right. Place the ear tips in the patient’s ear canals to show a proper fit, then attach the ear tips to OtoSet®. If only cleaning one ear, attach the corresponding ear tip to the correct side.

Attach Waste Container(s)
The disposable waste containers which collect the extracted earwax and liquid are also labeled L and R. Align the plastic tabs extending from the waste containers with the indentation on OtoSet® and lock them into place. Verify that the containers are fully sealed to prevent any spillage. Again, if only cleaning one ear, attach the corresponding waste container for that side (either right or left).

Fill Solution Container(s)
Fill the accompanying beaker with 70mL of body temperature distilled water or saline solution. Use the enclosed thermometer to ensure that the solution is at the appropriate temperature: 97.7-99.5 °F, 36.5-37.5 °C. Pour this into the solution container(s) and then close by turning the cap toward and pressing tightly to close.

Once you’ve set up OtoSet®, the device is ready to use. Before starting the ear cleaning system, follow the next steps to prepare the patient for the procedure.

Properly Fit the Device
When you are ready to start the procedure, fit OtoSet® on the patient’s head. Guide the ear tips into the ear canals while placing the device over the head. If possible, ask the patient to hold the headset in place while you adjust the head strap to ensure a perfect and comfortable fit. Verify with the patient that the ear tips are inserted and the device is comfortable.

Notify the patient that you will turn on the device. When turned on, the device defaults to the left ear. Click the button that selects the ear(s) to be cleaned and verify that the corresponding light is on.

A long press of the button will start the cleaning procedure - the corresponding light will flash green throughout the procedure and you will hear a beep which indicates that solution is flowing into the ears.

The device will stop automatically once the 30-second cleaning procedure ends.

After the Procedure
Remove OtoSet® by pulling the sides outward and lifting the device upwards, then place it on the stand provided. Inspect the patient’s ears to ensure earwax is thoroughly removed. If another cycle is needed, drain the waste containers and lock them back in before repeating the previous steps.

After you are done using OtoSet®, remove the waste containers and the ear tips, and discard these items appropriately (refer to the instructions for proper cleaning and charging steps). It’s as simple as that - both for you and for your patient!

Ready for OtoSet®?
OtoSet® is the first automated and FDA-cleared ear cleaning device for clinical use, which is available to healthcare providers now. Streamline earwax removal at your practice with this innovative device!