Impacted earwax is a common condition among adults — especially seniors — according to Healthline. Pain from built-up earwax prompts many people to see their physician to have the excess wax removed. Blocked ears can result in dizziness and loss of balance, which can lead to falls and fall-related injuries; more than 3 million older people go to emergency departments every year for fall injuries, according to the CDC. Additional problems associated with impacted earwax include difficulty hearing, tinnitus, and hearing-related depression and social isolation.

Tucson-based SafKan Health recently introduced the SafKan OtoSet, an automated ear cleaning device. The OtoSet, which resembles a set of headphones with large cans, combines pulsed irrigation and continuous suction to break apart and remove excess earwax in under 35 seconds according to the company. A clinician fills a reservoir on each side of the device with saline solution, puts the headset on the patient’s head with the ear tip in the ears, pushes a button, and the Otoset begins to pulse and suck the wax into containers on the headset.

Protolabs‘ 3D printing service helped produce the OtoSet prototypes. Currently limited to clinical use, Safkan intends eventually to sell the OtoSet directly to consumers.