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Publication numberUS3097059 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 9, 1963
Filing dateJun 23, 1960
Priority dateJun 23, 1960
Publication numberUS 3097059 A, US 3097059A, US-A-3097059, US3097059 A, US3097059A
InventorsCarl G Hoffman
Original AssigneeCarl G Hoffman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for forming ear plugs for supporting hearing and receivers
US 3097059 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1963 c. G. HOFFMAN METHOD FOR FORMING EAR PLUGS FOR SUPPORTING HEARING AID RECEIVERS Flled June 23, 1960 lrrnk/VEY United States Patent 3,097,059 METHOD FOR FORMING EAR PLUGS FOR SUP- PORTING HEARING AID RECEIVERS Carl G. Hoffman, 631 15th St., Denver, Colo. Filed June 23, 1960, Ser. No. 38,267 1 Claim. (Cl. Iii-55.05)

This invention relates to an ear plug for supporting the receiver of a conventional hearing aid in the ear and more particularly to a method for individually forming each ear plug to correspond exactly and in detail to the internal contours of the ear in which it is to be used.

Attempts have been made to supply receiver holding ear plugs of an average shape with the intention that they could be used in a variety of different ears. These attempts have been far from satisfactory and result in illfitting plugs and receivers.

Satisfactory ear plugs for hearing aid receivers have been made by forming a negative plaster cast of the ear, making a positive cast from the negative cast, molding a suitable acrylic plaster receiver plug into the positive cast, thence discarding the negative and positive plaster casts. If the work has been carefully and accurately done, a satisfactory plug will be obtained.

The latter method requires a high degree of skill and is exceedingly time consuming. The final receiver plug is never an exact negative reproduction of the ear due to the successive shrinkages in the various process steps.

The principal object of this invention is to provide a method for forming a hearing-aid-receiver-holder-plug which will produce an accurately and exactly-fitting plug for each individual ear in a small fraction of the time required by the other methods and which will eliminate the necessity for the negative and positive casts described above.

Another object is to provide a plug-forming method in which the final plug is initially formed directly in the ear of the patient without any intermediate molding or casting steps so that an accurately-fitting plug will be produced in one single process step.

Other objects and advantages reside in the detail construction of the invention, which is designed for simplicity, economy, and efficiency. These will become more apparent from the following description.

In the following detailed description of the invention, reference is had to the accompanying drawing which forms a part thereof. Like numerals refer to like parts in all views of the drawing and throughout the description.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ear plug and receiver combination as produced by the method of this invention; and

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are diagrammatic sections through the auditory canal of a human ear, with the patient in a repose position, illustrating successive process steps in this improved hearing-aid-plug-forming method to be later described.

In the drawing, elements of a human ear have been diagrammatically indicated and designated by numeral as follows: helix 10, anti-helix 1 1, tragus 12, anti-tragus =13, lobe 14, external auditory canal 15, membrana tympani 16.

This invention relates to a method for forming a plug- 3,097,059 Patented July 9, 1963 ice like element which will fit within the concha or hollow part of the external ear so as to hold the conventional hearing aid receiver, such as indicated at 24, in place in the ear without requiring external clamps or braces.

In carrying out this improved method for forming a hearing aid ear plug, the patient is preferably placed in a reclining position with the ear to be fitted directed upwardly, as diagrammatically indicated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The auditory canal 15 is packed with surgical cotton 17, as indicated in FIG. 2, and the entire interior of the external ear is coated with suitable mineral oil.

A batch of suitable acrylic resin is now intermixed with a solvent liquid to form a freely moldable mass of soft malleable acrylic resin which can be freely handled with oiled fingers. The batch is formed into a relatively pointed easily handled piece, such as illustrated at 18 in FIG. 3, which is gently pressed into the canal 15 and into the curvated channels in the folds of the ear to form a helix portion 19 filling the helix 10 of the ear and a projecting portion 20 filling into the anti-helix 11 of the ear and a tragus knob 21 fitting into the anti-tragus of the ear and a canal portion 22 which will fit perfectly into the auditory canal to the depth of the cotton packing.

The external surface of the plastic plug is now leveled off with a spatula to form a flat external surface 23 and a conventional receiver ring 25 is pressed into the flat surface .23 to a depth equal to the full thickness of the ring 25, as illustrated in FIG. 4, and the acrylic plug with the ring 25 in place is maintained stationary with the thumb or finger until the plastic sets. This can be ascertained by a feeling of warmth and usually requires about 4 or 5 minutes.

The newly molded plastic plug or impression and the cotton 117 are now removed from the ear and any rough spots or sharp edges in the acrylic are smoothed down with a brush containing a suitable solvent. A sound passage 26 is drilled into the plug from the enclosure of the receiver ring 25 and from the extremity of the canal portion 22, as shown in broken line in FIG. 4, to form a continuous sound passage from the internal ear to the receiver 24 when the latter is snapped in place in the receiver ring 25 as is conventional with hearing aid receivers and receiver rings.

The improved plug or receiver holder is self-retaining since it fits perfectly and snugly into the grooves of the external tear and into the external portion of the auditory canal of the ear and serves to inconspicuously and securely support a conventional hearing aid receiver within the confines of the external car without additional support of any kind.

While a specific form of the improvement has been described and illustrated herein, it is to be understood that the same may be varied within the scope of the appended claim, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Having thus described the invention what and desired secured by Letters Patent is:

A method for forming a near plug for supporting a hearing aid receiver in the ear of a patient comprising: packing the tympani extremity of the auditory canal of the ear of said patient with cotton; pressing a mass of selfhardening moldable material into said canal and into the concha of the external ear with the thumb and fingers; leveling off the external surface of the mass to produce is claimed a flat external surface; pressing a receiver supporting member into said =flat external surface; allowing said mass to harden in the ear to form a solid plug conforming to the internal contours of said ear with the receiver supporting member permanently inbedded therein; removing said plug from the ear; and thence drilling a sound passage in said plug extending from the extremity of the canal portion of said plug to the receiver supporting member thereon, so that sound Waves from a receiver supported by said receiver supporting member will be conducted to the membrane tympani of the ear.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3344220 *Apr 4, 1966Sep 26, 1967 Process of making a hearing aid having a foamed supportive structure formed in situ
US3345737 *Dec 17, 1963Oct 10, 1967Otoacustica Electronics LtdMethod of producing fitted hearing aid with sound amplifier incorporated therein
US3440314 *Sep 30, 1966Apr 22, 1969Dow CorningMethod of making custom-fitted earplugs for hearing aids
US3513269 *Jan 26, 1967May 19, 1970Pacific Plantronics IncEarform mold for supporting acoustic apparatus on a wearer's ear and method of making the mold
US3811437 *Oct 26, 1971May 21, 1974Cabot CorpEarplugs
US3959200 *Oct 25, 1973May 25, 1976E. I. Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyCopolyester composition
US4091067 *Jul 25, 1973May 23, 1978Marion Health & Safety, Inc.Process for producing an aural communications receiving device
US4372904 *Mar 27, 1981Feb 8, 1983Gunn Dennis LMethod for making an ear plug
US4828777 *May 13, 1987May 9, 1989Siemens AktiengesellschaftMethod and apparatus for the manufacture of an otoplastic shell
US4834927 *May 13, 1987May 30, 1989Siemens AktiengesellschaftMethod and apparatus for producing an ear impression
US5099947 *Sep 4, 1990Mar 31, 1992Starkey Laboratories, Inc.Wax guard for hearing aids
US5131411 *Aug 20, 1990Jul 21, 1992Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityCustom-fitting earplug formed in situ using foaming action
US5321757 *May 20, 1992Jun 14, 1994Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyHearing aid and method for preparing same
US5333622 *Jul 17, 1992Aug 2, 1994The Center For Innovative TechnologyEarplug and hearing devices formed in-situ
US5455994 *Nov 9, 1993Oct 10, 1995U.S. Philips CorporationMethod of manufacturing an in-the-ear hearing aid
US5488205 *Feb 6, 1995Jan 30, 1996Microsonic, Inc.Hearing aid tubing connector
US6328564 *Apr 6, 1999Dec 11, 2001Raymond C. ThurowDeep ear canal locating and head orienting device
US6339648Mar 23, 2000Jan 15, 2002Sonomax (Sft) IncIn-ear system
US7362875Apr 2, 2004Apr 22, 2008Sonic Innovations, Inc.Balloon-expandable hearing device fitting system and self-expanding hearing device
US9479859Nov 18, 2013Oct 25, 20163M Innovative Properties CompanyConcha-fit electronic hearing protection device
US20040258263 *Apr 2, 2004Dec 23, 2004Sonic Innovations, Inc., A Delaware CorporationBalloon-expandable hearing device fitting system and self-expanding hearing device
US20050224082 *Apr 5, 2004Oct 13, 2005Johnson Arthur AMethod for forming occlusive barrier over ear canal and kit for providing same
USRE29487 *Mar 12, 1976Dec 6, 1977Cabot CorporationEarplugs
DE1231304B *Dec 24, 1964Dec 29, 1966Wolfgang DreveVerfahren zur Herstellung von Ohrpassstuecken fuer Schwerhoerigen-Geraete und Plastik zur Durch-fuehrung des Verfahrens
EP0806909A1 *Jan 26, 1996Nov 19, 1997Jabra CorporationEarmolds for two-way communication devices
EP0806909A4 *Jan 26, 1996Feb 8, 2006Jabra CorpEarmolds for two-way communication devices
U.S. Classification264/155, 181/135, 264/320, 128/864, 264/341, 264/222
International ClassificationH04R25/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04R25/652, H04R25/658, H04R25/604
European ClassificationH04R25/60D, H04R25/65M