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Publication numberUS3183312 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 11, 1965
Filing dateSep 22, 1961
Priority dateOct 9, 1960
Publication numberUS 3183312 A, US 3183312A, US-A-3183312, US3183312 A, US3183312A
InventorsSchaudinischky Leo Herzl, Salomon Hans Jechiel
Original AssigneeSchaudinischky Leo Herzl, Salomon Hans Jechiel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for improving hearing
US 3183312 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 11, 1965 H. J. SALOMON ETAL 7 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IMPROVING HEARING Filed Sept. 22. 1961 /NVENTOR5= HANS .TECHIEL SnLonorv LEO HRZL SCHflUD/NISCHKY United States Patent 3,183,312 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IMPROVING IEARING Hans .Iechiel Salomon, 21 Joseph St., and Leo Herzl Schaudinischky, 31 Hathikhon St., Neve Shannan, both of Haifa, Israel Filed Slept. 22, 1961, Ser. No. 140,083 Claims priority, application Israel, Oct. 9, 1960, 14,465 9 Claims. (Cl. 179-107) Conventional hearing aids for improving the hearing of a person, which usually comprise a microphone easy to conceal in a pocket of a garment, an amplifier and a receiver formed as air or bone conductor, can be used only as long as there exists a sufiiciently great residual auditory capacity of the defective ear or ears. In case of a person whose one ear functions more or less normally, while the other ear is deaf or its audition is reduced too much with respect to the capacity of a conventional hearing aid, known expedients could no longer enable the audition by both ears.

Such a one-sided deafness is a widespread affliction. It prevents the person so afliicted from hearing any sound of what happens on the side of the defective ear and compels him to continuously turn his head for directing the good car towards the source of sound, e.g. a person speaking to him. Particularly in the region of higher frequencies, for example above 500 hertz, the good car is shielded or shaded by the head from sound coming from the opposite direction.

Besides this inconvenience, the danger of lack of depth and sense of direction exists, whereby a person deaf in one ear only is apt to be misled, for example with regard to the distance and direction of movement of an approaching vehicle.

The object of the present invention is to provide a method for improving the hearing, in which a sound received at the place of or at least in proximity to the deaf ear is transmitted to the good ear so as to be discernible from the direct sound perception of said good ear.

In this manner the good ear will receive the same sound twice, namely primarily by way of normal hearing, and secondarily through the hearing aid. Advantageous- 1y, a slight dephasing and a difference in sound intensity exists between the primary and secondary sound perception, a phenomenon similarly as it appears in natural binaural hearing between the respective receptions by both ears, owing to the difierences of distance and directions between the two ears and the source of sound, and also due to the fact that one of the two ears nearly always is more shielded from the sound than the other one. A one-sidedly deaf-person whose bearing capacity is improved according to the method described thus perceives a mental impression which is a nearly perfect imitation of the situation existing in true binaural hearing.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a hearing aid appliance comprising a sound transmitter to be placed into the zone of the deaf ear and operatively connected with a receiver located at the good ear to transmit the sound to the good car.

The apparatus advantageously comprises a microphone which is associated to a sound collector and connected to the sound receiver, for example a bone conductor, by the intermediary of an amplifier. The sound collector may have the shape of a small horn insertable in the ear, which horn is operatively connected to the microphone by means of an air tube in which case the microphone may be accommodated at any desired location and preferably combined with the amplifier.

However, it is also possible to accommodate the micro- ICC phone into a s-o-called olive, i.e., in a capsule to be introduced in the auditory canal, which capsule is inserted into the deaf ear, the entire external ear itself serving as sound collector. In this case the microphone is connected by a cable to the amplifier. Since the auricle of the deaf ear exerts its natural sound-funneling action, the sound reception in this construction approximately corresponds to the sound reception during binaural hearing.

The invention will now be more particularly described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a diagram of a hearing aid according to the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic side elevation of the re ceiver;

FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic sectional view of a defective ear with a modified receiver in position.

In the diagram according to FIGURE 1 the numeral 10 designates the head of a person using the hearing aid. A microphone 2 is arranged in a receiver which may be inserted into the auditory canal of the defective ear 9. The microphone is connected by a lead 3 to an amplifying aggregate comprising a pre-amplifier 4, an interchangeable filter network 5 and a power amplifier 6. A battery (not shown) is provided at any suitable place of the hearing aid. The output of the amplifier 6 is rendered audible for the sound ear 11 by means of a bone conductor 7.

As may be easily seen in FIGURE 2, the receiver consists of a capsule portion 1a enclosing the microphone 2 and of a shank 1b to be introduced into the auditory canal. These parts may be made of moulded plastic material, preferably of any elastomer, or of rubber. The shank 1b is provided with fins 8 which advantageously are molded integrally with said shank and prevent sound waves from entering the auditory canal.

In this construction the auricle of the defective ear 9 serves as sound horn arranged ahead of the microphone. A modification is illustrated in FIGURE 3, in which a sound horn 12 provided with a shank 13 to be introduced in the auditory canal is inserted in the defective ear 9. The two parts 12 and 13 are integrally moulded from a suitable plastic material. The sound horn 12 is operatively connected to the microphone, which is carried at any suitable location, but not shown in FIGURE 3, by means of an air tube 14 which preferably consists of an elastomer. The microphone in this case may be built together with the amplifier unit. The use of a separate sound horn may have a favourable efifect, since such a horn may result into a better collection of the incoming sound and the proximity of the microphone to the amplifier unit decreases electric losses. Moreover, the construction of the microphone becomes less problematic, since the latter no longer has to be accommodated in a minute capsule, hence an increase in the sensitivity of the microphone is rendered possible.

In place of the bone conductor 7, an air conductor naturally may also be used, in order to render audible the sound collected at the place of the defective ear. On the other hand, the bone conductor may be arranged not only in the position shown behind the good ear, but for example also on the bridge of the nose. In this case the apparatus could be combined with a pair of spectacles, the connecting part or bridge of which resting upon the bridge of the nose would form the bone conductor. In known manner, the amplifier itself'and even the micro phone could be accommodated in one of the bows of the spectacles. In this case, the microphone which is visibly introduced in the defective car would be eliminated. Alternatively, the other how of the spectacles could be used as bone conductor. This combination of the hearing aid with a pair of spectacles is of great ad- Patented May 11, 1965 vantage in so far as the whole apparatus forms a single piece and there are no outside electric wire connections, the required connections being placed in the frame of the spectacles. Moreover, a distinctly defined seat and bearing pressure of the bone conductor against thebridge of the nose may be obtained, whereby an amplification of the transmission of higher acoustic frequencies is made possible, since comparatively thick damping layers of skin are not present on the bridge of the nose as it is the case behind the shell of the ear. An improved transmission of practically all sound waves thus results owing to the almost immediate contact between the bone conductor and the nasal bone, and therefore a better efiiciency of the amplifying apparatus is obtained. A further increase in efficiency will result when the bone conductor incorporated in the bridge portion of the spectacle frame is supported on both flanks of the nasal bone in a manher known per se.

We claim:

1. A method of improving the hearing ability of persons having one good ear capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf ear not capable of hearing satisfactorily which comprises detecting sound adjacent the deaf ear and transmitting the sound detected to the good ear while permitting the good car to receive sounds in a manner discernible from the sound transmitted to the good car from the deaf ear.

2. A method of improving the hearing ability of persons having one good car capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf ear not capable of hearing satisfactorily which comprises detecting sound adjacent the deaf ear, converting the sound detected into electrical impulses, storing the electrical impulses for a period of time, transmitting and converting the electrical impulses into sound to the good car While permitting the good ear to receive sound in its vicinity in a manner discernible from the sound transmitted to the good ear from the deaf ear.

3. A method of improving the hearing ability of persons having one good car capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf car not capable of hearing satisfactorily, which comprises detecting sound adjacent the deaf ear, changing the sound intensity, and transmitting the sound detected at the changed sound intensity to the good ear while permitting the good ear to receive sound at an intensity ditfering from the intensity of sound transmitted to the good ear.

4. A hearing aid for persons having one good car capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf car not capable of hearing satisfactorily, comprising means adapted to be placed adjacent the deaf ear for the detection of sound at such location, and a sound transmitter operatively connected with said detection means for transmitting sound received by said detection means to-the good ear in a manner so that it is discernible from the other sounds being sensed by the good air.

5. A hearing aid for persons having one good ear capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf car not capable of hearing satisfactorily, comprising means adapted to be placed adjacent the deaf ear for the detection of sound at such location, and a sound transmitter operatively connected with said detection means for transmitting sound received by said detection means Cir to the good ear in a manner so that it is discernible from the other sounds being sensed by the good car, said detection means including a sound collector, said transmitting means including a microphone and an amplifier.

6. A hearing aid for persons having one good car capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf car not capable of hearing satisfactorily, comprising means adapted to be placed adjacent the deaf ear for the detection of sound at such location, and a sound transmitter operatively connected with said detection means for transmitting sound received by said detection means to the good car in a manner so that it is discernible from the other sounds being sensed by the good ear, said detection means including a sound horn element adapted to be inserted into the deaf ear, said transmitting means including a microphone and an air tube extending from said sound horn element to said microphone.

7. A hearing aid for persons having one good car capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf ear not capable of hearing satisfactorily, comprising means adapted to be placed adjacent the deaf ear for the detection of sound at such location, and a sound transmitter operatively connected with said detection means for transmitting sound received by said detection means to the good ear in a manner so that it is discernible from the other sounds being sensed by the good ear, said transmitting means including an air tube adapted to be inserted into the deaf ear.

8. A hearing aid for persons having one good car capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf ear not capable of hearing satisfactorily, comprising means adapted to be placed adjacent the deaf ear for the detection of sound at such location, and a sound transmitter operatively connected with said detection means for transmitting sound received by said detection means to the good ear in a manner so that it is discernible from the other sounds being sensed by the good ear, saidtransmitting means being a bone conductor.

9. A hearing aid appliance for persons having one good ear capable of hearing satisfactorily and one deaf car not capable of hearing satisfactorily, comprising a sound collector adapted to be inserted in the deaf car, a microphone located adjacent said collector for actuation by the sound collected by said collector, means for amplifying the sound received by the microphone connected to said microphone, and a bone conductor adapted to be placed on the skull of the wearer adjacent the good ear and connected to said amplifying means for producing sound at the good ear discernible from the sound normally heard by the good ear.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,154,069 9/15 Soret 179107 2,765,373 10/56 Smith 179107 2,874,231 2/59 \Nallace 179107 2,891,116 6/59 Nichols 179107 2,930,857 3/60 Hollingsworth 179107 2,967,913 1/61 Aubert et al 179107 ROBERT H. ROSE, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1154069 *Oct 5, 1912Sep 21, 1915Celestin SoretAudiphone.
US2765373 *Feb 20, 1951Oct 2, 1956Smith Alonzo LHearing aid, construction and support therefor
US2874231 *Dec 2, 1955Feb 17, 1959Frank B WallaceEar mounted hearing aid device
US2891116 *Mar 4, 1955Jun 16, 1959Nichols & Clark IncHearing aid device
US2930857 *Dec 31, 1953Mar 29, 1960Eleanor HumphriesSpectacles concealed hearing-aid
US2967913 *Apr 24, 1957Jan 10, 1961Miquelis EugeneElectronic intensifying ear-drum
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3353029 *Aug 24, 1964Nov 14, 1967Lorain Prod CorpApparatus and method for effecting unidirectional flow of power in a. c. circuits
US3632902 *Feb 24, 1969Jan 4, 1972John J WahlerSound reflector-modifier for hearing aid microphones
US3787643 *Nov 7, 1972Jan 22, 1974American Danish OticonHearing aid device
US4852177 *Aug 28, 1986Jul 25, 1989Sensesonics, Inc.High fidelity earphone and hearing aid
US5434924 *Mar 6, 1991Jul 18, 1995Jay Management TrustHearing aid employing adjustment of the intensity and the arrival time of sound by electronic or acoustic, passive devices to improve interaural perceptual balance and binaural processing
US8457337Jul 21, 2010Jun 4, 2013Aria Innovations, Inc.Open ear canal hearing aid with adjustable non-occluding securing mechanism
US20110019851 *Jul 21, 2010Jan 27, 2011Michel Florent Nicolas JosephOpen ear canal hearing aid
Classifications
U.S. Classification381/326, 381/328
International ClassificationH04R25/00
Cooperative ClassificationH04R25/652
European ClassificationH04R25/65B