US 20030056281 A1
An eye mask has magnetic bodies and self-heating warm members, which are inserted in eye pads on a mask member to be placed over eyeball parts. If required, vibrators and illumination bodies may be additionally placed in the eye pads. Thus, fatigue on the eyes and surroundings thereof can be relieved by the magnetic actions of the magnetic bodies and the warming effects of the warming member, in addition to expected effects of restoring ocular functions, recovering from various ocular diseases, and so on. Furthermore, the surface of each of the eye pads is gradually curved like the inner surface of a sphere. When the eye pads are press-contact to the eyeball parts at predetermined pressures for a long time, the cornea can be warmed by the warming members so that the shape of the cornea can be changed along the shape of the eye pad, resulting in the effects of recovering from eye sight disorder such as pseudo-myopia, moderate farsightedness, or moderate astigmatism.
1. An eye mask, comprising:
a mask member to be placed over eyeball parts;
magnetic bodies provided on portions of the mask member, where the portions correspond to the eyeball parts; and
a warming member for warming the eyeball parts, which is provided on the mask member.
2. An eye mask as claimed in
eye pads provided on the portions of the mask member corresponding to the eyeball parts, where the magnetic bodies are placed in the eye pads; and
a warming-member housing portion provided on the mask member, where the warming member for warming the eyeball parts is housed.
3. An eye mask as claimed in
the eye pads are provided for correcting eyesight by pushing the eyeball parts to correct the corneas.
4. An eye mask as claimed in
slight-vibration generators which give slight vibrations to the eyeball parts are provided on the eye pads.
5. An eye mask, as claimed in
means for blinking illumination bodies is provided in each of the eyes pads.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to an eye mask having the excellent effects of recovering from eye fatigue and recovering ocular functions and also having functions for recovering from eye sight disorder such as pseudo-myopia, moderate farsightedness or moderate astigmatism, as well as hypnosis effect.
 2. Detailed Description of Prior Art
 Various kinds of products for recovering from eye fatigue are commercially available. For instance, a warming or cooling pad in the shape of an eye patch is known in the art. The effects of such products are temporary and wear off in a short time. Furthermore, any conventional systems for warming eyeball parts by electric or electronic warming devices have some disadvantages. For instance, each of them has an expensive complicated structure and is hard to handling.
 An object of the present invention is to provide an eye mask having excellent effects of: recovering from eye fatigue; restoring ocular functions; providing hypnosis action; and so on, in addition to being useful to restore eyesight and various kinds of ocular diseases.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide an eye mask capable of substantially recovering or restoring from eye fatigue or disordered ocular functions as a long-time treatment can be performed through sleeping hours.
 Still another object of the present invention is to provide an eye mask with a simple structure, which can be mass-produced at low cost and can be easy to use.
 The present invention has been proposed in view of the above objects. Accordingly, there is provided an eye mask comprising: a mask member to be placed over eyeball parts; magnetic bodies provided on portions of the mask member, where the portions correspond to the eyeball parts, respectively; and warming members for warming the eyeball parts, which are provided on the mask member.
 According to one of preferred embodiments of the present invention, eye pads may be provided on the portions of the mask member corresponding to the eyeball parts, where the magnetic bodies are placed in the eye pads, respectively. In addition, a warming-member housing portion may be provided on the mask member, where the warming member for warming the eyeball parts is housed.
 The term “mask member” refers to one prepared from any material having any shape as far as it can be placed over the eyeball parts, such as one in the shape of goggles, glasses, eye bandage, or ocular adhesive sheet. Also, the term “eyeball parts” refer eyes, eyeballs, and their surroundings in the human body. Also, but not particularly limited to, the magnetic body may be a ferrite permanent magnet, a rare-earth permanent magnet, a diboronic magnesium permanent magnet of a superconductive material, or the like, which may be shaped like a ball, bar, plate, ring, wire, particle, or the like to filled in the eye pad or the like.
 The magnetic force of the magnetic body may be appropriately defined for attaining the object, for example it may be in the range of 1 mT to 180 mT.
 By the way, apparatuses for magnetic therapy have been well known in the art. Each of them utilizes magnetic actions of magnetic bodies for taking the stiffness out of each part of the human body, such as shoulder, scruff, back, hip, foot, or for relieving fatigue of muscle. On the other hand, the present inventors have found that magnetic actions of magnetic bodies could be effective to restore eye fatigue, ocular functions, various kinds of ocular diseases, and so on. In particular, eye sight disorder such as pseudo-myopia, moderate farsightedness, or moderate astigmatism can be naturally restored or improved by applying a predetermined strength of magnetic force for a long time. In addition, the present inventors have also found that magnetic actions of magnetic bodies could be effective to ocular diseases such as keratopathy, cataract, glaucoma, paralysis of ocular muscles, and retinopathy.
 It be presumed that each structural component of the eye part, such as crystalline lens, ciliary body (zonula cliaris) that regulates swelling of the crystalline lens, or cornea, may be effected by magnetic force in a cellular level to restore intrinsic biological functions of each structural component. Simultaneously, there additional effects of restoring the functions of nerve fibers connecting to the ocular cells, causing increase in bloodstream by expansion of peripheral capillaries around the eyeball part, relaxing muscles and nerve fivers and relieving tension on each of them, activating cells, and so on to recover eyeball parts from fatigue and to enhance ocular functions.
 In the mask member, as described above, the warming member for warming the eyeball parts and their surroundings are provided in addition to the magnetic bodies.
 The warming member may be, for example, a powder-type exothermic material which can be self-heated at a temperature of about 38° C. to 42° C., or may be a small-sized far-infrared ray heat-generating device, or may be of using functions of heating or cooling by means of a potential difference in module alloy. Warming the eyeball parts works synergistically with the magnetic actions of the magnetic bodies to provide more excellent advantages of the eye mask.
 In other words, blocked meibomian glands in the lids of eyes, which are a main cause of dry eyes, can be restored by heating the eyeball parts, so that the stream of tears can be recovered to allow normal secretion of tears.
 In addition, the stresses on somatic cells, muscles, nerves, bone marrows, and so on can be relaxed and the circulation of the blood can be improved.
 Furthermore, there are synergistic effects of the warming and the magnetic force on cells and tissues in the body, so that fatigue materials such as wastes, blood stasis, cholesterol, lactic acid, CO2, and active oxygen, which are accumulated in the eyeball parts, will be removed. Therefore, the stiffness or hyperemia of muscles, nerves, bone marrows, and so on will be removed.
 In addition, blood turns into alkalinity from the acidity, and the body metabolism becomes active, so that natural healing power in the body can be recovered and improved, resulting in normalized eyesight as a necessary consequence. Furthermore, stresses on cells and tissues of the cornea and the surroundings thereof can be relieved by warming the cornea with the warming member, resulting that these cells and tissues become expanded and softened.
 Under such conditions, the softened cornea can be deformed along the shape of the eye portion of the eye pad by pressing down the eye pads on the eyeball parts from above the eye lids or on the surroundings of the eye lids at a predetermined pressure for a predetermined time period. As a result, especially, eye sight disorder such as pseudo-myopia, moderate farsightedness, or moderate astigmatism, or the like can be corrected so that eyesight can be recovered.
 The eye pad is constructed of an elastic body such as a sponge or a soft plastic material in consideration of coming in contact with the eyeball part for a long time. According to the present invention, however, it is not limited to such materials. The eye pad may be constructed of another material such as a semi-hard plastic material, a cork, or a magnetic metal.
 In addition, the eye portion of the eye pad is formed in a concave shape. According to the present invention, however, it is not limited to such a shape. Various kinds of eye portions may be prepared in advance. For example, each of the eye portion may have a different amount of curvature of the concave, or a convex or flat shape, depending on the purpose of correction. If the purpose is not for corrective treatment on eyesight, there is no need to forcefully press the eye pad against the eyeball part. It may touch on the eye lid lightly by loosing the constriction band of the eye mask or the like.
 The mask member may be equipped with means for generating micro-vibrations, such as a vibrator. The micro-vibration means providing the eyeball parts with micro-vibrations to stimulate cells, tissues, nerves, blood flows, and so on in the eye parts and the surroundings thereof. Therefore, the effects of magnetic force and warming can be further increased, and also the cornea correction can be further effective.
 In the mask member, if required, means for blinking luminous bodies may be provided. The luminous body may be a miniature bulb, a light emitting diode, or the like. The luminous body can be turned on and off at predetermined time intervals by adjusting the light level, flashing speed, or the like of the luminous body, so that hypnotic and ataractic effects can be induced.
 Furthermore, the ocular functions or the like can be improved by stimulating the eyeballs, retina nervous systems, and so on by irradiating moderate light on the eyeball parts and the surroundings thereof.
 The luminous bodies may be colored with four primary colors (red, blue, yellow, and green) or filtered with colored filters, respectively. Therefore, the luminous bodies can be independently rendered in different color schemes so as to be appropriately adjusted to the goal of treatment or the like. Therefore, it becomes possible to improve or enhance the recognition ability of the eye and to treat or improve partial or total color-blindness.
 Furthermore, if required, coolants may be housed in the warming-member housing portions of the mask member for cooling the eyeball parts at predetermined temperatures, respectively. Therefore, it becomes possible to ease the tensions of muscles of the eye parts and the surroundings thereof. In addition, it also becomes possible to restore hyperemia, to prevent a rush of blood to the head, and to bring down the blood pressure.
 The coolant may be a disposable cold sheet or pad, which is commercially available, or an improved product thereof for the present invention.
 For recovering from a disorder such as insomnia or mental stress, an aromatic material having a hypnotic or ataractic effect may be provided in the mask member. Furthermore, earplugs for sound isolation, a portable music playback device, a radio, or the like may be optionally provided in the mask member.
FIG. 1 is an overall schematic diagram of the eye mask in accordance with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the eye mask shown in FIG. 1 in accordance with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the eye mask along the line a-a in FIG. 2 in accordance with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the eye mask along the line b-b in FIG. 2 in accordance with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a front view of the warming member to be attached on the eye mask of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the warming member along the line a-a in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a front view of the eye mask in accordance with the second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the eye mask along the line a-a in FIG. 7 in accordance with the second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of the eye mask along the line b-b in FIG. 7 in accordance with the second preferred embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view of the eye mask along the line c-c in FIG. 7 in accordance with the second preferred embodiment of the present invention.
 Preferred embodiments of this invention will be described below in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.
 FIGS. 1 to 4 show an eye mask as a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, an eye mask 10 comprises a mask member 11 and a constriction band 12. In this embodiment, a front panel 14 of the mask member 11 is provided as a shade plate.
 An edge frame 16 is attached on the peripheral end of the front plate 14. In addition, as shown in FIGS. 2 to 4, a cushion 15 is mounted on the backside edge of the front plate 14. In this embodiment, the cushion 15 is constructed of a cloth bag filled with cotton, sponge, or the like.
 Furthermore, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a back plate 18 is fixed on the backside of the front plate 14 with a predetermined space between these plates 14, 18 to form a housing portion 19 for housing a warming member 21 described below. Furthermore, stopper members 17, 17 a are provided on the middle portions of the back plate 18 and the front plate 14, respectively. One of the stopper members 17, 17 a has a protrusion while the other thereof has an opening, so that that the stopper members 17 can be fixed together by fitting the protrusion into the opening. Thus, the warming member 21 can be secured in the space between the front and back plates 14, 18 such that the warming member 21 can be prevented from coming out of the space.
 Furthermore, there are right and left eye pads 20, 20 on the back place 18. Each of the eye pads 20 is constructed of a cloth bag filled with an elastic body such as a sponge material with a predetermined thickness. A plurality of magnetic bodies 13 is imbedded in a part corresponding to each of the eyeball and its surrounding areas of the inside of the eye pad 20. The eye pads 20 may be fixed on the back plate 18 by means of adhesive or the like. Alternatively, the eye pads 20 may be fixed on the back plate 18 using adjustable double-faced tape or hook-and-loop fasteners so that they can be fixed at appropriate positions for the treatment or correction to be performed on user's eyeball parts and the surroundings thereof.
 An eye portion 20 a of each of the eye pads 20 has a concave shape. In other words, it is gradually curved like the inner surface of a sphere. The curvature and shape of the eye portion 20 a can be changed depending on the purpose of corrective treatment of poor eyesight.
 As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the warming member 21 is shaped like a pair of eyeglasses and is constructed of exothermic bodies 23 enclosed in the right and left side of a heat-stable package film 22 placed in the space between the front plate 14 and the back plate 18. The package film 22 is sealed and the inner opposite faces are kept in absolute contact with one another except the portions where the exothermic bodies 23 are enclosed.
 Each of the exothermic body 23 comprises iron power, activated carbon, wood flour, salt, water, baculite, and so on. The exothermic body 23 can be self-heated at a predetermined temperature as a result of oxidation when these components are mixed by kneading with hands through the package film 22.
 The warming member 21 generates heat at a temperature of about 40° C. to 70° C. and is able to warm eyeball parts and surroundings thereof through eye pads 20. If the treatment requires only magnetic bodies 13 (i.e., there is no need to warm the eyeball parts), the warming member 21 may be removed from the housing portion 19.
 When the above eye mask 10 is used, the warming member 21 is housed in the housing portion 19 and the stopper members 17, 17 a are then mated together, followed by placing the mask member 11 over eyeball parts of the individual so as to place both eye pads 20 on the eyeball parts while holding the mask member 11 on the head by an appropriate pressure from the constriction band 12.
 Therefore, the eye portions 20 a of the respective eye pads 20 appropriately apply pressures on the eyeball parts, especially on corneas, respectively. In addition, the eyeball parts and surroundings thereof can be magnetically effected by the magnetic bodies 13 in the eye portions 20 a, respectively. Simultaneously, the eyeball parts and surroundings thereof can be warmed with the warming member 21.
 Referring now to FIGS. 7 to 10, there is shown another eye mask as a second preferred embodiment of the present invention. The eye mask of the present embodiment is constructed just as in the case with the first preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 except of a micro-vibrating device and a light-blinking device.
 In this embodiment, a vibrator (i.e., a micro-vibrating device) 30 is additionally provided in the middle of each eye pad 20 as and a plurality of illumination bodies 31 is provided as a light-blinking device around the vibrator 30. In this embodiment, furthermore, each illumination body 31 is a miniature bulb.
 Moreover, a controller box 32 is arranged on the middle of the front plate 14. The controller box 32 has an upper end portion on which an electric switch 34 is provided and a front portion on which an illumination-control dial 35 for increasing or decreasing the light levels of illumination bodies 31, a flash-control dial 35 a for controlling a blinking speed of the illumination, a vibrator-control dial 36 for controlling the intensity of vibration, an illumination body timer 37, and a vibrator timer 38 are provided. In addition, as shown in FIG. 10, a battery 33 is embedded in the controller box 32.
 The eye mask 10 of the present embodiment as described above is capable of providing micro-vibrations on the eyes from the vibrators 30. In this case, an appropriate strong and an appropriate time period of slight vibration can be controlled by the vibrator-control dial 36 and the vibrator timer 38.
 Simultaneously with or independently of vibrations created by the vibrators 30, the illumination bodies 31 can illuminate the eyeball parts as a result of selecting predetermined light levels, blinking-speeds, and time periods. These parameters can be appropriately adjusted by the illumination-control dial 35, the flash-speed control dial 35 a, and the illumination body timer 37, respectively.
 Furthermore, if required, an aroma-emitting member (not shown) having hypnosis and ataractic effects may be arranged on a nose portion of the mask member 11, which can be placed near the nostrils. The aroma-emitting member may be a designated container (e.g., a small portable body warmer) that contains a aroma material that emits pleasant characteristic odor, as of a plant such as moxa to be used for the so-called moxa treatment. In this case, moxa may be burned in the container to produce smoke to be inhaled. Alternatively, there is another method for generating an aroma of moxa. That is, the aroma of moxa may be provided as a volatile liquid (aroma liquid) previously filled in another container, followed by pouring an appropriate amount of the aroma liquid into the aroma-emitting container being placed near the nozzle portion of the mask member 11. Therefore, an aroma of the moxa can be inhaled into the nostrils as the aroma liquid in the container can be volatized.
 In the above housing portion 19, a portable coolant such as a cooling pad known in the art may be housed instead of the warming member 21 if required to cool the eyes or their surroundings. Furthermore, a small speaker or an ear phone may be provided near each of the ear portions of the mask member 11. The small speaker or the like may connected to a portable music playback system, a portable radio, or the like to provide various kinds of the so-called healing music or the like for the purpose of hypnosis or of healing sleeplessness.
 For enhancing the hypnosis effect, cooling the head is effective. Thus, a coolant may be attached on a hair band or a cap to keep the head cool in combination with use of the mask member 11. The coolant to be used in the present embodiment may be any of coolants well-known in the art. Preferably, the coolant may be one which can be commercially-available and made of a specific high-polymer crystalline material that exert an excellent cooling effect when the coolant absorbs water. In this case, such a cooling effect can be kept for an extended time (e.g., over 30 hours). In other words, such a coolant has a cooling action using the application of heat of evaporation, so that a natural cooling effect can be obtained. Thus, there is no possibility of cooling the eyes too much.
 The embodiment described above has been provided as one of representative examples of the present invention. Therefore, the present invention is not limited to the eye mask of the above embodiment. For instance, the mask member 11 may be constructed as a bag sheet in which an exothermic body is tightly enclosed in addition to embed magnetic bodies in the eye portions of the mask member 11. Furthermore, the vibrator 30, the illumination body bulbs 31, the warm member 21, and so on shown in the figures are provided for conveniently describing the present invention. Therefore, such a configuration of the eye mask can be changed within the scope of the present invention.