Super Soaker as Ear Syringe

As described in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (Dec. 6, 2005), a man on vacation in rural Ontario experienced sudden, profound hearing loss. A family doctor on vacation in the same location was consulted and diagnosed the man as suffering from a buildup of cement-like ear cerumen. Lacking access to professional equipment for its removal, ingenuity was required. A child's Super Soaker Max-D 5000 proved to be the solution:

The Super Soaker Max-D 5000 was filled with body-temperature water and then mildly pressurized using the blue hand-pump. The trigger was depressed, releasing a gentle, narrow jet of water, which was then aimed along the posterior wall of the ear canal. After approximately 15 seconds, the jet was aimed along the anterior wall. This cycle was repeated (with occasional repressurizing) until the Super Soaker was empty.

Midway through the second load's stream, wax particles began to run out of the ear. Just after starting the third load, a large plug of wax burst forth from the patient's ear. The 3 generations of family members present took turns admiring (or recoiling from) the specimen. The patient exclaimed in joy, "I can hear again!"...

The clinician operator of the device was impressed by the Super Soaker's ease of use for this procedure. Specifically, the ability to control a narrow, mildly pressurized jet of water was considered excellent. As well, the device only had to be refilled once or twice before the cerumen was removed from each ear. This is in contrast to his experience of requiring up to 10 or more refills of standard ear-syringing equipment. Using the Super Soaker in standard practice could then lead to decreased overall time spent on this procedure, resulting in shorter waiting times for patients through increased physician efficiency.
     First Posted: Jan 2009
     Reposted By: Alex - Sun Mar 04, 2018
     Category: Medicine

Seems kind of harsh for removal of ear cerumen. It is afterall a narrow, mildly pressurized jet of water.

A buddy of mine bought one of these to help clean his shower walls. Bachelors....geesh! I just get the wife to do it. Hmmm, come to think of it the Super Soaker would be cheaper.
Posted by Madd Maxx on 01/16/09 at 07:23 AM
*reliving fond childhood memories of water fights in the backyard, and occasionally the kitchen*

super soakers are great!
Posted by Jules in Connecticut on 01/16/09 at 09:03 AM
Paul, I agree! By the time the medical industry gets their hands on it, chrome plates it, gets full government approval for this specific use, organizes and holds seminars in all 50 states the cost may be found to be slightly higher in some areas.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/16/09 at 09:36 AM
Well, you'd better go raid Toys-R-Us, Walmart and any other store that might carry them. You can sell them on the street later after the price shoots up.

(Expat opens trench coat)
Pssst...hey man...ya wanna buy a super soaker?
Posted by Madd Maxx on 01/16/09 at 09:48 AM
Maxx, you think I'm gonn pay you royalties now for the business model?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 01/16/09 at 12:00 PM
Expat - I'm an idea man. Now my idea is documented so you'll have to pay me royalties.
Posted by Madd Maxx on 01/16/09 at 12:49 PM
"Using the Super Soaker in standard practice could then lead to decreased overall time spent on this procedure, resulting in shorter waiting times for patients" ... to be able to run out and hire an attorney after the "operator" shoots their right eardrum out through their left ear.
Posted by lostinthevalleygirl on 01/16/09 at 05:29 PM
Alex and Paul,

The one thing I hadn't counted on with the reruns is to see the names of old-time WUies who no longer actively post.

I miss their comments
Posted by crc on 03/05/18 at 07:12 AM
I second CRC's comment above. I hope they are all doing well.

Super Soaker might not be the best tool in the long run. But there is no reason a device cannot be designed with the same result and maybe eliminate the risk of too much pressure.
Posted by Steve E. on 03/05/18 at 10:27 AM
As a little kid, I saw a doctor dewaxing someone using what looked like an enema bag with a steel nozzle. (I knew all too well what an enema bag did -- the doctor had said on my last visit that I had to be flushed out a couple of times before returning.)

It's probably the first time I was ever deeply conflicted -- I desperately wanted to run as far and as fast as I could before they did that to me, and I really, really wanted to hang around to see the guy's brains spurting out of his ear.

My older sister, in one of her rare moments of setting aside her perverse sense of humor/innate sadism, told me truthfully what was happening.

I blame that incident on my lifelong addiction to Q-Tips.
Posted by Phideaux on 03/05/18 at 11:49 AM
I had my impcted ear wax flushed out (bulb syringe but I cans see how a supersoaker would have been even more effictive) by an off-duty nurse after a day of swimming followed by wearing ear plugs so I could sleep. Alternating applications of hydrogen peroxide and warm water soon flushed out a large mass that looked like a mass of chewing tobacco.

Cheap, easy and effective.
Posted by crc on 03/05/18 at 04:57 PM
If the medical industry ever makes a Super Soaker specifically designed for medical purposes, it will cost ten times as much and the added bonus of relaxing the patient will be lost; a steel water gun looks too much like a sadistic dentist's wet dream. With the actual Super Soaker, every patient seeing his doctor arrive with this thing will laugh, thus making the job easier.
Posted by Yudith on 03/10/18 at 12:51 PM
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