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1. (WO2010075502) SILENT EFFUSION REMOVAL
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

L A method for clearing effusion from an ear, the method comprising: applying liquid to an ear canal, which is proximal to a perforated tympanic membrane, which is proximal to a middle ear containing effusion; applying an ear device to seal and pressurize the liquid inside the ear canal, the ear device regulating the amount of pressure inside the ear canal; and inducing a Eustachian tube, which is distal to the middle ear, to open, which causes the fluid to displace the effusion into the Eustachian tube.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising supplying additional liquid to the to the ear device.

3. A method for clearing effusion from an ear, the method comprising: applying liquid to an ear canal, which is proximal to a perforated tympanic membrane, which is proximal to a middle ear containing effusion; applying an ear device to seal and pressurize the liquid inside the ear canal, the ear device regulating the amount of pressure inside the ear canal; and inducing a Eustachian tube, which is distal to the middle ear, to open, which causes the fluid to displace the effusion into the Eustachian tube.

4. The method of claim 3 further comprising supplying additional liquid to the device.

5. A method for clearing effusion from an ear, the method comprising: applying an ear device to seal an ear canal, which is proximal to a perforated tympanic membrane, which is proximal to a middle ear containing effusion; pressurizing the ear canal with air; and inducing a Eustachian tube, which is distal to the middle ear, to open, which causes the pressurized air to displace the effusion into the Eustachian tube.

6. The method of claim 5 further comprising supplying additional air pressure to the ear device.

7. A device for pressurizing an ear canal, comprising: a first ear cup which encloses a first external ear, the first ear cup having a first sealing member which fluidly seals around the first external ear, the first ear cup having a first port which is in fluid communication with the sealed first external ear; a second ear cup which encloses a second external ear, the second ear cup having a second sealing member which fluidly seals around the second external ear, the second ear cup having a second port which is in fluid communication with the sealed second external ear; and a headpiece connected to each ear cup, the headpiece configured for applying sealing pressure to each sealing member and retaining each ear cup on each respective external ear.

8. The device of claim 7 further comprising a first pump device coupled to the first port for pressurizing the first external ear, and a second pump device coupled to the second pressure port for pressurizing the second external ear.

9. The device of claim 8 wherein the pump devices are configured to pump air.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein the pump devices are manually operated.

11. A method for clearing liquid from an ear canal, the method comprising: applying a device including a wicking tip to a liquid inside an ear canal to wick the liquid from the ear canal; and applying negative pressure to the device to aid in wicking the liquid, wherein the wicking tip regulates turbulence to reduce noise caused by wicking the liquid.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the wicking tip includes a porous and absorbent material.

13. A device for clearing liquid from an ear canal, the device comprising: an elongated cannula including a first end and a second end; and an elongated foam member including a distal end and a proximal end, a portion of the elongated foam member compressed within the cannula, the distal end uncompressed and exposed past the first end, the proximal end uncompressed and exposed past the second end, wherein the proximal end is larger than the distal end to provide a wicking action to the distal end, and wherein the proximal end will enlarge when fluid is wicked from the distal end into the proximal end.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein the elongated cannula is constructed from a malleable material.

15. A device for silently removing liquid from an ear canal, the device comprising: an elongated multi-lumen cannula including a distal end and a proximal end, wherein each lumen includes a cross-sectional area which reduces cavitation during suction; and a suction apparatus coupled to the proximal end of the multi-lumen cannula.

16. A method for removing liquid from an ear canal, the method comprising: receiving a trigger to apply suction to a device in an ear canal filled with liquid, the device including a lumen for removing the liquid; applying suction to the device; monitoring an electrical signal from the device; detecting an imminent creation of noise, or noise, caused by the suction; and reducing suction until the imminence of noise, or noise, subsides.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising increasing suction to the device after the imminence of noise, or noise, subsides.

18. A system for removing liquid from an ear canal, the system comprising: a suction probe, including at least one noise sensor; a pressure regulator coupled to the suction probe, the pressure regulator configured to supply negative pressure to the suction probe; and a processor electrically coupled to the at least one noise sensor and pressure regulator, the processor configured to detect, based on signals from the at least one noise sensor, imminent creation of noise, or noise, caused by the suction probe, the processor further configured to modify pressure supplied by the pressure regulator based on the signals.

19. The system of claim 18 wherein the processor is further configured to increase pressure supplied by the pressure regulator when no imminent creation of noise, or noise, is detected.

20. A device for silently removing liquid from an ear canal, the device comprising: an elongated cannula; and a filtering material disposed within the cannula, a portion of the filtering material extending out of an end of the elongated cannula.

21. The device of claim 20 wherein the filtering material comprises longitudinally arranged gauze fibers.

22. The device of claim 21 wherein the portion of the filtering material extended out of the end of the elongated cannula comprises frayed gauze fibers.

23. The device of claim 20 wherein the elongated cannula is configured to couple to a suction device.

24. A method for silently removing effusion from a middle ear, comprising: implanting a tympanostomy tube including a central lumen into a tympanic membrane; inserting a device having an Archmides' screw into the central lumen; and actuating the Archmides' screw to remove lodged effusion adjacent to the tympanic membrane.

25. The method of claim 24 wherein actuating comprises rotating the Archimedes' screw.

26. The method of claim 25 wherein actuating further comprises moving the Archmides' screw in and out of the device.

27. A system for silently removing effusion from a middle ear, comprising: a tympanostomy tube including a central lumen;

an elongated cannula configured to be slidably engaged with the lumen; and an Archmides' screw rotatably disposed within the cannula.

28. The system of claim 27 wherein the elongated cannula is coupled to a drive motor.

29. The system of claim 27 wherein the elongated cannula includes a flared tip.

30. The system of claim 27 wherein the elongated cannula laterally exposes a portion of the Archmides' screw.

31. The system of claim 27 wherein the Archmides' screw is configured to actuate in and out of the elongated cannula.