US 20070284263 A1
An integrated contact lens case and an electronic timer which may be set to a predetermined time such as seven, fourteen or thirty days as the period during which the user may use contact lenses before replacing them. The timer generates an electrical signal upon reaching the predetermined time which signal is applied to an indicator carried by the housing to provide a visual signal to the user that the time for replacing the contact lens has arrived. The contact lens case is removably secured through the housing within which the electronic timer apparatus is disposed by a plurality of complimentary protrusions and recesses.
1. An integrated contact lens case and electronic timer for providing to a user an indication that the time to replace contact lenses has arrived comprising:
a housing including a contact lens case mount;
an electronic timer apparatus disposed within said housing, said timer generating an electrical output signal upon reaching a predetermined time;
an indicator carried by said housing;
means coupling said output signal to said indicator for activating said indicator to provide said user with said time to replace indication; and
means for setting said electronic timer to said predetermined time.
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9. An integrated contact lens case and electronic timer for providing to a user an indication that the time to replace contact lenses has arrived comprising:
(a) a molded hollow housing having an upper surface defining an opening therein;
(b) an LCD disposed within said housing and being visible through said opening;
(c) a printed circuit board disposed within said housing and including an electronic timer circuit which produces an electrical output signal upon expiration of a predetermined time;
(d) means for setting said timer circuit to said predetermined time;
(e) means coupling said electronic timer circuit output signal to said LCD to activate said LCD upon expiration of said predetermined time;
(f) a contact lens case; and
(g) means for removably securing said contact lens case to said upper surface of said housing.
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12. An integrated contact lens case and electronic timer as defined in
This application is based upon Provisional Application 60/812,516, filed Jun. 8, 2006 and hereby claims benefit of the filing date thereof.
The present invention relates generally to the replacement of contact lenses and more particularly to the combination of a contact lens carrying case which is integrally formed with a timer adapted to indicate to the user when replacement of the contact lens should be accomplished.
Use of contact lenses is very prevalent among individuals requiring vision correcting lenses. Many of the contact lenses which are utilized are referred to as disposable contacts. Such disposable contact lenses must be replaced on a periodic basis which usually is determined by the type of lens and the prescription which is provided by the physician or optometrist. Many of the disposable contact lenses are approved to be worn without replacement for up to seven days and some for fourteen days with proper daily care. There is also a gas permeable lens which is also approved for thirty (30) days of wear with proper daily care.
It has been demonstrated that improper attention and lack of compliance with the schedule for replacement may result in corneal ulcer and other adverse reactions. For example, the risk of developing ulcerative karatitis is greater with increased consecutive days of extended lens wear before replacement. It has also been found that acanthamoeba karatitis is an infrequent but serious infection among contact lens wearer and occurs when there is improper extended wear of the contact lens.
It has also been found that it is extremely difficult for individuals who wear contact lenses, particularly of the extended disposable types, to remember the replacement schedule. Individuals have attempted to try various tricks to aid in memory as to the replacement schedule none of which have been very successful. Numerous types of contact lens cases have been provided in the prior art. These contact lens cases include, not only a structure which includes a pair of lens holder members but in several instances includes a container cap which has a time-keeping function and is rotatable to reference calendar days, month names or other time related indicia. In one instance, a contact lens storage device is known in which the cover is cooperatively arranged with and attached to the housing such that the counter which is included with the case, automatically operates to advance a count each time the cover is removed, thus providing to the user a count of the number of days that the contact lens have been worn. Although, these prior art devices function to perform the task desired, they are difficult to use and require in several instances, a positive action by the user to provide the information desired.
There is thus a need for a simple and reliable apparatus to automatically provide a positive and readily discernable indication to the contact lens wearer that the time for replacement of the contact lenses has arrived.
The present invention is a combination of a contact lens case and electronic timer mechanism integrated as a single package. The electronic timer mechanism provides a visual means of indicating to the contact lens wearer that a preselected period of time has expired and the time for replacement of the lens has arrived. As an added feature of the invention, the contact lens case may be removed from the integrated package for travel and ease of maintenance of the contact lenses should such be required.
In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to similar components:
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to
Typically, the user would use or depress the set button when the contact lenses are inserted by the user into his or her eyes. Upon such use, the set button activates the timer apparatus. Alternatively there could be provided a separate start button which the user could push to activate the timer apparatus.
Referring now more particularly to
Upon conclusion of the predetermined replacement period, an indicator such as an LED light 20 would be activated by an electrical signal generated by the timer apparatus indicating that it is time to replace the lenses. Alternatively, or in addition, a window 22 having visible therein an LCD indication such as “replace lenses” could be provided. In either case there is a visual means for alerting the contact lens wearer that it is time to replace the lenses. As an additional alternative, if such is desired, there could be provided an LED or LCD display timer 24 which would provide an indication to the contact lenses wearer as to the amount of time that the lenses have been worn or alternatively, could be a countdown timer indicating the amount of time left before the lenses are to be replaced.
Referring now more particularly to
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The apparatus as illustrated and above described may be molded of any plastic material such as polypropylene or by using AgION antimicrobial plastic that safely inhibits the growth of bacteria on the surface. It should also be recognized by those skilled in the art that the light and display timer or replacements window may be in any color available utilizing such devices and that the integrated housing and lens case may also be constructed of plastic material of a choice of colors.
There has thus been disclosed an integrated contact lens case and timer mechanism which provides to the contact lens wearer a positive and easily discernable indication that the time for replacement of the contact lens has arrived.