|Publication number||US2908343 A|
|Publication date||Oct 13, 1959|
|Filing date||May 10, 1957|
|Priority date||May 10, 1957|
|Publication number||US 2908343 A, US 2908343A, US-A-2908343, US2908343 A, US2908343A|
|Original Assignee||Hummert Fred|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (18), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Oct. 13, 1959 F. HUMMERT HEARING AID EAR-PIECE GASKET Filed May 10, 1957 FEED HUMMERT,
INVENTOR BYam mAwMimgL ATTORNEY-S United States Patent 2,908,343 HEARING AID EAR-PIECE GASKET Fred Hummert, Charlotte, N.C. Application May '10, 1957, Serial No. 658,424
1 Claim. c1. 1s1 z3 This invention generally relates to hearing aids and, "more especially, to improvements in ear plugs or earpieces of the type particularly devised for use with sound amplifiers and having a portion which fits snugly in the auditory canal to improve defective hearing.
In order that hearing aid ear-pieces may be lightweight and as inconspicuous as possible when they are worn, it is common practice to make such ear-pieces from a clear plastic material. The body of the earpiece is an irregular plastic body of predetermined configuration providing a substantially flat outer end with -'a curved upwardly projecting portion on its inner side which fits in the helix of the ear and a rib on the back portion thereof for fitting in the concha of the ear. The lower portion of the body has a projecting tapered canal-closing prong or projection thereon which fits snugly in the outer portion of the auditory canal. A passageway extends from the outer flat surface of the bodyt'hrough the tapered projection.
Now, as heretofore stated, the tapered projection fits snugly in the auditory canal of the user and it is frequently necessary to remove the ear-piece from the persons ear for cleaning wax excretions, which have -accumulated thereon from the auditory canal of the user, from the tapered projection. Some people with defective hearing cannot wear a plastic ear-piece of the character described because they are allergic to the plastic contacting the sensitive wall of the auditory canal and, in many instances the frictional nature of "the plastic is such that the plastic projection will chafe 'the wall of the auditory canal, thus irritating the wall of the auditory canal so the ear-piece cannot be worn. Difficulty has also been encountered heretofore in that the tapered projection would not fit properly in the outer end of the auditory canal and the user would hear a whistling sound most of the time while wearing the plastic ear-piece.
It is an object of this invention to eliminate such defects as have been inherent heretofore in plastic ear- :pieces by providing a thin disposable gasket or shield of generally frusto-conical shape which fits about the canal-insert prong or projection so as to provide a seal between the auditory canal and the plastic material, and on which gasket the wax excretions from the auditory canal collect so as to obviate the troublesome necessity of cleaning 'the canal-insert projection to remove wax excretions' therefrom, since it is only necessary to discard a used gasket or shield and replace the same with a new one.
It is another object of this invention to provide a shield or gasket of the character described with a projecting tab on its outer or larger end which, although deformed somewhat when the ear-piece is positioned in the ear of the user, may be grasped by the user for removing the gasket from the auditory canal in the event that it is not removed from the auditory; canal by adherence to the canal-insert projection.
Some of the objects of the invention having been cavity e in the pinna known as a concha.
2,908,343 Patented Oct. 13, 1959 stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which- Figure 1 is a fragmentary view showing a persons outer ear in elevation and the inner portions of the ear in longitudinal section with the plastic ear-piece positioned as it is worn and showing the improved shield or gasket mounted on the canal-insert prong or projection;
Figure 2 is an elevation of the blank from which the improved shield or gasket is formed;
Figure 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the completed ear-piece gasket or shield removed from the earpiece;
Figure 4 is a perspective view of the ear-piece showing the gasket mounted thereon, as it appears removed from the ear of the user.
Referring particularly to Figure 1 of the drawings, a persons ear is illustrated and the various parts thereof will be first described in order that the invention maybe clearly understood. The external or protruding part of the ear is known as the pinna or auricle and includes an upper portion or helix a whose outer rear portion curves downwardly and terminates in a lobe b. The pinna has a recess c in its upper portion which is known asv the fossa of the antihelix and which terminates in a raised or outwardly projecting portion d known as the antihelix. The antihelix d defines a The concha e communicates with the auditory canal 1 which terminates at its inner end at the tympanic membrane g.
The auditory canal f is also known as the external The tympanic membrane is also known 'as the middle ear, drum or tympanum. The internal'ear or labyrinth is indicated at h.
In Figures 1 and 4 a plastic ear-piece of usual construction is illustrated, on which the improved gasket or shield is positioned. The ear-piece is broadly designated at 10 and is in the form of an irregular clear plastic body having a substantially fiat outer surface 11 provided with an internally threaded recess 12 for reception of one end of a cable or conduit leading from a suitable sound amplifier, not shown. The side of the ear-piece or body 10 opposite from the flat surface 11;
that is, the inner side of the ear-piece, has an upwardly and outwardly curved outer-ear-engaging projection 13 thereon which, as shown in Figure l, is adapted to fit against the inner surface of the front portion of the helix or in the fossa of the antihelix.
A curved rib 14 projects rearwardly from the inside portion of the projection 13 and is adapted to fit in the concha of the outer ear as shown in Figure l. Spaced forwardly from and below the projection 13 and extending substantially opposite from the fiat surface 11 is an outwardly tapering or truncated-conically shaped canal-insert projection 15 which is relatively small at its free end so that it may be easily inserted in the auditory canal f as shown in Figure 1. The two projections 13, 14'define a recess 16 therebetween. A passageway 17 extends axially through the canal-insert projection and communicates with the recess 12.
As stated heretofore, the tapered canal-insert projection necessarily fits snugly in the auditory canal 1, but it frequently happens that the projection 15 does not fit properly in the auditory canal 1 so that the wearer may hear a whistling sound which might become so nerve-wracking that the wearer would remove the ear-piece or must re-adjust the ear-piece in his ear in order to decrease or eliminate the whistling sound. The frictional nature of the clear plastic body 10 is such that, in many instances, it will chafe the wall of the auditory canal even while initially positioning the canal insert projection in the auditory canal. This condition is aggrevated when it becomes necessary to adjust the body ear-piece 10, With the result that the wall of the auditory-canal oftentimes becomes inflamed and irritated to such an extent thatthe ear-piece cannot thecanal-insert projection 15, and to prevent irritating or chafing the auditory canal and to provide a seal between the wall of the auditory canal f and the canalinsert projection 15, I have provided a novel shield or gasket of generally frusto-conical configuration, which gasket is broadly designated at 20 in Figure 3.
In Figure 2, it will be observed that the gasket 20 may be made from a fiat blank preferably made from thin paper,
fabric, such as cotton gauze, or other thin yieldable material. This material is preferably absorbent so as to facilitate the accumulation of wax excretions thereon as well as serve as a shield between the auditory canal j and the plastic canal insert projection 15. The material from which the gasket 20 is formed should also 'be such as to yield somewhat so as to conform to the shape of the canal-insert projection, on the one hand, and to the shape of the outer portion of the auditory canal on the other hand.
The ends-of the gasket are open so that, if desired, the assembled gasket as shown in Figure 3 may be slid onto the projection 15 by drawing the large end of the gasket onto the small free end of the projection 15.
The small end of the gasket 20 is'open so as not to interfere with the passage of sound waves transmitted through the passageway 17.
The blank B from which the canal insert gasket 20 is made is shown as beinggenerally frusto-triangular or trapezoidal in shape to form short and long end edges 21, 22 connected to diverging side edges 23, 24. The side portion of the blank B adjacent the side edge 23 preferably has a narrow band of adhesive 25 thereon. The medial portion of the wide end edge of the blank has an upwardly projecting grasping tab 26 thereon. It will be observed in Figure 3 that the blank B is bent or curved around and the adhesive-coated edge 21 is adhesively fastened in over-lapping relation to the opposite side edge of the blank B so the completed canal insert gasket or shild 20 is substantially frusto-conically shaped and open at opposite ends thereof as shown in Figure 3.
It is contemplated that the gasket 20 may be formed from an endless piece by being pressed into the desired shape, without departing from the spirit of the invention. However, it is preferable that the gasket is formed from a double ended piece of paper or similar absorbent material in the manner shown in Figures 2 and 3 so that it may be readily positioned about and fitted snugly against the canal-insert projection 15 as shown in Figure 4.
It will be noted that, when the canal insert gasket 20 is positioned on the canal insert projection 15, the tab 26 projects into the recess 16 provided between the two projections 13, 15 and, since the gasket 20 is made from a pliable material, the tab 26 may be deflected outwardly somewhat or, in other words, deformed somewhat while 4 the canal insert gasket is positioned on the projection 15.
It is thus seen that, when the body 10 of the ear-piece is positioned in the ear of the user in the manner heretofore described, the gasket 20 provides a protective shield between the canal insert projection 15 and the wall of the auditory canal f.
It is therefore apparent that the wax excretions from the auditory canal of the wearer will not collect on the peripheral surface of the canal-insert projection 15 but will, instead, collect on the outer surface of the shield 20 and may even be partially absorbed by the shield 20. Also, it is apparent that the shield 20 will serve as a shield between the canal-insert projection and the Wall of the auditory canal and will also protect the wall of the auditory canal.
It is apparent that, if the gasket or shield 20 did not adhere to the canal-insert projection 15 when the earpiece is removed from the ear, the tab 26 on the shield 20 will then be exposed or protrude outwardly from the auditory canal 1 so that it may be easily grasped to remove the gasket or shield 20 from the auditory canal f. If desired the grasping tab 26 may be arranged in such a manner as to be available for grasping simulta neously with the ear piece, thereby insuring that the gasket 'Wlll be removed from the ear together with the .ear piece. The gasket or shield 20 may then be discarded insertion into the auditory canal of an ear, a disposable gasket comprising a yieldably deformable thin pliable frusto-conical web of absorbent material having an opening at each end and encircling said canal insert projection and conforming to the shape of the canal insert projection, and an inconspicuous tab projecting from the large end of the gasket adjacent the body of the ear piece, saidtab being of such dimensions as to be hidden from view and confined between the ear-piece and the ear when the gasket is in use, the dimensions of the tab at the same time being such as to render the tab available to grasping upon the ear-piece being removed from the ear to permit removal of the gasket from the ear.- 7
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 411,160 Maloney Sept. 17, 1889 702,800 1 Kleiner June 17, 1902 "843,362 Plank Feb. 5, 1907 887,645 Jankelowitz a May 12, 1908 2,535,258 Bland Dec. 26, 1950 2,763,334 Starkey Sept. 18,1956
- FQREIGN PATENTS I 8,197 Switzerland Feb. 24, 1894 327,428 Germany Oct. 13, 1920
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|US6167141 *||Apr 30, 1998||Dec 26, 2000||Beltone Electronics Corporation||Multimaterial hearing aid housing|
|US6393130||Jul 16, 1999||May 21, 2002||Beltone Electronics Corporation||Deformable, multi-material hearing aid housing|
|US7130437||Jun 26, 2001||Oct 31, 2006||Beltone Electronics Corporation||Compressible hearing aid|
|US8249287||Aug 20, 2010||Aug 21, 2012||Bose Corporation||Earpiece positioning and retaining|
|US8254621||Mar 7, 2012||Aug 28, 2012||Bose Corporation||Earpiece positioning and retaining|
|US8307942 *||May 18, 2009||Nov 13, 2012||Mckeon Products, Inc.||Flat earplug and package|
|US8311253||Aug 20, 2010||Nov 13, 2012||Bose Corporation||Earpiece positioning and retaining|
|US8737669||Jul 28, 2011||May 27, 2014||Bose Corporation||Earpiece passive noise attenuating|
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|US8989426||Aug 15, 2011||Mar 24, 2015||Bose Corporation||Earpiece positioning and retaining|
|US20020025055 *||Jun 26, 2001||Feb 28, 2002||Stonikas Paul R.||Compressible hearing aid|
|US20110094822 *||May 18, 2009||Apr 28, 2011||Mckeon Products, Inc.||Flat earplug and package|
|US20140079273 *||Nov 19, 2013||Mar 20, 2014||Bose Corporation||Earpiece positioning and retaining|
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