US 3132887 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y '12, "1964 M. MARTINEZ 3,132,887
APPLICATOR FOR CONTACT LENSES Filed May 12, 1960 INVENTOR. /7/ 6064 "4497-0162 ,4 fro/9061s United States PatentOfiEice 3,132,887. Patented May 12, 1964 3,132,887 APPLICATGR FUR CONTACT LENSES Miguel Martinez, 2406 Esplanade Ave, New York 69, N.Y. Filed May 12, 1960, Ser. No. 28,757 8 Claims. (Cl. 294-25) This invention relates to an applicator for contact lenses.
Considerable difficulty is experienced, particularly by beginners, in the application of a contact lens to the eyeball. Not only must he overcome his instinctive fear of touching the eyeball, but he must perform this delicate operation while his vision is partially blocked by the finger utilized for such purpose.
The prevailing practice is to apply the lens to the cornea with a wetted index finger. This method has gone into widespread use despite instruments proposed for such function because until now the instruments either have been clumsy and expensive or have hindered rather than aided application of the lens. The wet finger method, is however, neither easy, accurate, nor safe. There is real danger of scratching the cornea with a fingernail, and this is so serious and so likely that women using contact lenses are warned to keep their fingernails short, particularly the nail of the finger, usually the index finger, which is to be used for application of the lens.
- It is an object of the present invention to provide an applicator for contact lenses which overcomes all of the foregoing drawbacks.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described through the use of which the introduction of bacteria, dirt or infectious material into an eye is avoided.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described which permits a person using the same to fully visualize the insertion of the lens, that is to say, the person will not have his vision seriously obstructed by the inserting finger as is the case today.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described which accurately will control the position of the lens during insertion, that is to say, an applicator on which the lens inherently will be placed in a predetermined centered position so that as the applicator is approached to the eye the user will know the exact location of the lens. This is in contrast to the wet finger method of application in which the location lens was in direct contact with the applying finger the user had to rely on the resilience of his flesh to absorb the shock of contact. However, in accordance with my invention the applicator is constructed with a built-in resiliency that absorbs shock. plicator of the character described which in general plicator of the character described which encourages vision through the lens at the time of insertion. It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described which ensures the 'remote location of the nail of the inserting finger.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of. the character described the use of which is simple to teach to a novice and, indeed, is almost automatic.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described which is adapted to be operated by the index finger alone so that it is particularly easy to teach the use of the same to people who previously have become accustomed to the wet finger" method.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described which in general expedites the insertion of a contact lens.
It is another object of my invention to provide an applicator of the character described which constitutes relatively few and simple parts, and is rugged in construction andfoolproof in operation.
Other objects of my invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
My invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the devices hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings, in which are shown various possible embodiments of my invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing my applicator in use;
I FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an idle applicator;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing wetting of the applicator;
, FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the applicator picking up a contact lens; 1
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an applicator embodying a modified form of my invention, the same being illustrated in a storage position;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of said applicator in erected position and mounted on a phantom finger; and
FIG. 8 is an-enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 5, the reference numeral 10 denotes an applicator constructed in accordance with and embodying my invention. Essentially said applicator consists of three parts, to wit, a ring 12, a wand 14 and an annulus 16, suitably joined to one another in such a fashion that the wand is carried by and extends transversely away from the ring in a direction generally parallel 'to the axis of symmetry of the ring (perpendicular to the plane of the ring) and that the annulus is secured to the tip of the wand with the axis 'of the wand substantially constituting an extension of a diameter of the annulus and approximately in the plane thereof.
More particularly, the ring 12 is of generally circular shape and is fabricated from resilient material that is behind'the nail. Most conveniently, resiliency is imparted to the ring 12 by fabricating the same so as to'include a split, i.e., a gap 18, "whereby the ends of the ring at the gap can be readily spread apart toenable the ring to prehensily grip the users finger.
of the contact lens, said annulus easily can be centered on the lens by observation and manipulation. Moreover, the contrast between the dark circle of the annulus and the periphery of the lens makes such centering particularly simple. the external surface 30 of a contact lens to include a protuberance P by which the optical correction of the lens is performed. The central opening 20 of the annulus is of a somewhat greater diameter than such protuberance, thereby further facilitating the centering of the lens on the annulus so that with a minimum of skill the lens will be centered on the annulus each time the applicator is used.
Finally, the applicator is manipulated to place the contact lens on the cornea. Most conveniently, this is accomplished by using the index finger of the subordinate hand to lift the upper eyelid, using the middle finger of the dominant hand to draw down the lower eyelid and using the index finger to apply the contact lens to the eyeball as shown in FIG. 1.
The exposed portion of an eyeball is covered with a liquid film; therefore, when the contact lens is applied thereto said lens will adhere to the eyeball by virtue of the coherence of such film which adheres both to the eyeball and lens (capillary attraction). Due to the presence of the opening 20 and to the dilference in sizes between the outer peripheries of the annulus and the contact lens the capillary attraction between the contact lens and eyeball is greater than the capillary attraction between the annulus and contact lens. Therefore once the contact lens is on the eyeball the applicator can be disengaged from the lens simply by pulling it off.
The applicator as described hereinabove has the wand 14 permanently located in a protruding, i.e., erect, position which may be undesirable for some people who by careless handling might damage the wand. This drawback is obviated in the modified applicator 40 illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8. Said applicator 40, like the applicator 10, includes a ring 42, a wand 44, and an annulus 46, the wand 44 and annulus 46 being identical in con struction with the wand 14 and annulus 16 of the first described form of my invention. However, the ring 42 and attachment between the wand and ring are modified to permit shifting of the wand between an erect operative position, shown in FIG. 7 and a fiat idle position for storage, shown in FIG. 6.
More particularly the ring 42 which is made in the same manner as the ring 12 differs therefrom in one respect, to wit, the provision of a second gap 48 diametrically opposite to a gap 49 that permits the ends of the ring to be fiexed. The two halves of the ring on opposite sides of the gap 48 are integrally joined to one another by an upper bar 50 and a lower bar 52 in one piece with the ring. One of the bars, e.g., the bar 50 which is at the upper side of the ring, is disposed on the external surface of the ring. The other bar 52 which is at the lower side of the ring is disposed on the internal surface of the ring, this arrangement being quite clear from FIG. 8.
The wand 44 is not directly secured to the ring. Instead it is mounted on a plate 54 which preferably, for the reasons already mentioned hereinabove, is made of nylon. The plate has a thickness substantially equal to the thickness of the ring, a width substantially equal to but not exceeding the breadth of the gap 48 and a length somewhat in excess of the distance between the bars 50, 52. Said plate is provided with a bore into which the wand 44 is inserted and secured (see FIG. 8). Said plate also is provided with a pair of oppositely extending coaxial trunnions 56 located between the opposite ends of the plate and operationally integral with the plate. The trunnions are rotatably received in bearing openings formed in the opposite sides of the gap 48 thus permitting oscillation of the plate 54 between the operative erect position of FIG. 7 and the flat storage position of FIG.
In addition, it is usual for the central part of 6 6. The operative position is defined by reception of the bars 50, 52 within grooves 58 formed at opposite surfaces of the plate 54 in proper position to admit said bars.
It is preferred to lock the plate in operative position and I accomplish this simply by slightly restricting the mouths of the grooves 58 so that they will expand to receive the bars 50, 52 and then contract after the bars are located therein. The locking force provided is sutficient to hold the wand erect but easily can be overcome by slight pressure on the plate when turning the same to the storage position of FIG. 6.
It is desired to call attention to certain of the advantages of my novel applicator which have not already been mentioned. Thus it Will be apparent that by carrying the contact lens in a position remote from the tip of the index finger, I make certain that the nail of this finger will not touch the eyeball and also that this finger is kept out of the line of vision during application of the lens. Because the annullus is dark and opaque, the user is able to sight through the center of the annulus and thus obtain control of the position of the lens during application thereof. Vision at this time is enhanced by the opening 29 which leaves a clear space for the optical correcting protuberance P during its application to the cornea.
It thus will be seen that I have provided devices which achieve all the objects of my invention and are well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiments above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described, or shown in the accompanying drawings, is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. An applicator for contact lenses, said applicator comprising a finger receiving portion, a flexible resilient wire-like wand, means securing said wand to said finger receiving portion for movement between a flat storage position and an erect position in which it extends away from the ring, and an annulus carried by said Wand and shaped to engage the convex surface of the contact lens over an annular portion thereof.
2. An applicator for contact lenses, said applicator comprising a finger embracing portion, a slender elongated wand mounted on and extending away from the finger embracing portion, and an annulus secured to the end of the Wand remote from the finger embracing portion, said annulus having a smoothly concave front surface approximately matching the convex surface of the contact lens so that the annulus when wetted with an aqueous liquid will hold a lens by capillary attraction.
3. An applicator as set forth in claim 2 wherein the wand is flexible and the annulus is of synthetic plastic material.
4. An applicator as set forth in claim 2 wherein the longitudinal axis of the wand substantially constitutes an extension of a diameter of the annulus.
5. An applicator as set forth in claim 2 wherein the Wand is rigidly secured to the finger embracing portion.
6. An applicator as set forth in claim 2 wherein means is provided to secure the wand to the finger embracing portion for movement between a flat storage position and an erect operative position in which the longitudinal axis thereof is perpendicular to the plane of the finger embracing portion.
7. An applicator for contact lens, said applicator comprising a finger embracing portion, an elongated element mounted on and extending away from the finger embracing portion, and an annular element secured to the end of the elongated element remote from the finger embracing portion, said annular element having a smoothly curved front surface approximately matching the curved surface of the contact lens so that the annular element when wetted with an aqueous liquid will hold a lens by capillary attraction.
7 8 8. Anvapplicator for contact lens, said applicator'com- References Cited in the file of this patent uprising a finger embracing portion, anelongated wand UNITED STATES PATENTS mounted on and extending awayfrom the finger embract ing portion, and an annulus secured to the end of the i 710,657 Baumelster at --7--- 1902 wand remote from th finger embracing portion, said an- 5 2,585,641 a E 1952 I nulus having a smoothly curved surface approximately 2,836,926 Hung'Tu Tseng -i June 1958 matching the curved surface of the contact lens so that FOREIGN PATENTS the annulus when wetted with an aqueous liquid will 7 hold a lens by capillary attraction. 1 6,834 SWI'EZEIIaIId Sept. 16, 1926