US 3268068 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 23, 1966 J. A. LE GRAND CONTACT LENS APPARATUS Filed Oct. 15, 1965 United States Patent 3,268,068 CONTACT LENS APPARATUS Joseph A. Le Grand, 16 Arrowhead Trail, Media, Pa. Filed Oct. 15, 1965, Ser. No. 496,617 1 Claim. (Cl. 206-) This invention relates generally to contact lens apparatus, and more particularly to a kit for soaking contact lenses under hygienic conditions.
It is known to be advantageous to keep contact lenses Wet when not in use, as by keeping them in a small container holding sufiicient soaking solution to cover the lenses. But there is the possibility of the container becoming contaminated, as by the development of microorganisms. Such contaminants can be transferred to the eyes where entry into any existing lesion can cause infection and serious eye injury. The present invention seeks to provide a lens soaking kit which is hygienically safe, simple, economical, and efiective.
The present invention involves the recognition that natural contamination of the soaking container requires three or more days time to produce transferable microorganisms, and that the use of any one soaking container for more than three days presents a risk of eye injury. Further involved is the recognition that with the safe use of a simple and economical soaking container there should be some reminder, or call upon the user, to dispose of the container at the end of the allowable period.
According to the present invention, an expedient soaking kit is provided which comprises a case accommodating a removable lens-holding insert or container. The latter comprises coverable lens wells and several capsules, preferably three, each containing a sufiicient quantity of soaking solution for only one days filling of the lens wells. Refills for the case each include a new insert and another three days supply of capsules of soaking solution, all suitably wrapped in the form of a packet.
Thus, an insert is removed from the case and discarded after three days use, to be replaced with the contents of a refill package that is safe for the next three days use.
The various objects, features, and advantages of the invention will appear more fully from the detailed description which follows, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming a part of the present application, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary plan view of contact lens apparatus embodying the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 1, taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIGURE 3 is a front perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.
As shown in the drawings, the soaking kit of the present invention may include a case 10, preferarbly of polystyrene material and constructed with hinges and a tightly closable lid 11 according to the teachings of expired US. Patent No. 2,570,341. It is the function of the case to hold lens-holding container or insert 12 which snugly fits inside the case and is readily removed therefrom.
The insert 12 comprises a generally fiat base 14 supporting a pair of lens wells 16, and having lids or caps 18 for tightly covering the respective wells 16 connected to the base 14 by flexible straps 20. The latter provide individual hinge connections between the caps 18 and the base 14. The entire insert 12 can be molded as a unit of polyethylene plastic material.
Each lens well 16 is characterized by an upwardly opening recess and a concave bottom surface having a size and curvature suited for receiving a concavo-convex contact lens 24; and, in order to ensure even distribution of soaking fluid between the lens 24 and the bottom surface 22 of the lens well, radial grooves 26 are formed in the concave bottom surface of each well 16. The grooves 26 provide a passageway for the soaking liquid between upper and lower portions of the well 16. For example, without the radial grooves 26 it is possible for a lens 24 to form a seal between its circular edge and the surface of the well 16 to prevent the flow of soaking solution to the space between the bottom of the well and the convex side of the lens.
Each cap 18 is constructed to have interlocking formations with its associated lens well 16 to thereby fit snugly and securely in covering position. In addition, a central projection 28 provided inside the cap 18 is adapted to be received in the concavity of the lens 24 in order to displace some soaking solution to a higher level in the well 16 and thereby ensure complete coverage of the lens. The tops of the caps are suitabaly marked with the letters L and R to indicate that they are for the left and right lenses.
Further provided are several capsules 30, preferably three as shown. Each capsule 30 is a single use item containing a germicidal soaking solution for the lenses, the quantity of liquid in each capsule being sufiicient to immerse a pair of contact lenses 24 therein after the liquid has been distributed between the two lens wells 16. Preferably, each capsule 30 is formed with a notch 32 at one end thereof to faciiltate tearing the capsule open with the fingers and then pouring the entire liquid contents thereof into the lens Wells 16, dividing the liquid between them. After overnight soaking of the lenses, virtually all of the liquid is removed from the wells 16 incident to removing the lenses 24 from the wells 16 with a finger; and the wells must be refilled with soaking solution for the next use. It is a feature that the soaking solution is replaced daily because as contaminants increase they overtax the germicidal agent in the solution.
Since the lens wells 16 can accommodate the entire contents of one capsule 30, it is not possible to contaminate the still unused soaking solution in the remaining capsules, as could be done if soaking solution were supplied from a large bottle.
Optionally, the insert 12 can be molded with a suitable number of upstanding lugs 34 integrally attached to the base 14 for the purpose of snugly receiving and retaining the capsules 30 so that they will be readily accessible.
The soaking kit of the present invention comprises the case 10 and a number of packets, e.g. ten. Each packet is individually wrapped (not shown) by suitable sanitary wrapping which envelops an insert 12 with its lens wells 16 and covers 18, and three single use capsules 30.
After the three days supply of soaking solution is expended, the insert 12 is discarded and replaced by a fresh, sterile insert from a new packet which may be dropped in place within the protective case 10 for the next three soakings.
As mentioned previously, the possibility of contamination is first reduced because the lens Wells 16 are refilled from single use capsules. More importantly, by supplying a small number of daily refill capsules with a fresh insert 12 having soaking wells 16 there is a call upon the user to discard the spent insert before passage of the time period in which contaminating microorganisms can develop. Further, the kit is an assembly which is sufficiently compact so that it can be carried on the person. It is also economical and convenient to use effectively according to a hygienically safe program, preferably by repeating three day cycles as determined by the corresponding number of refill capsules 30 supplied with each refill packet.
Although the invention has been shown in but one form, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that it not so limited, but is susceptible of various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof.
What is claimed is:
Apparatus for soaking contact lenses comprising:
(a) a protective case;
(b) a plurality of packets, each comprising (c) a plurality of single use capsules containing a sterile soaking solution,
(d) a unitarily moldable insert removably positioned Within said case and readily removed therefrom, said insert having (e) structure defining a pair of upwardly opening concave lens Wells each adapted .to hold a concavoconvex contact lens and a small quantity of soaking solution for said lens,
(f) the concave surface of each lens well being formed with one or more grooves to provide a passageway between upper and lower portions of said well and thereby promote distribution of said soaking solution within said well,
(g) liquid tight covers for the wells each having an internal central projection adapted to be received in the concavity of said lens to displace soaking solution therefrom to a higher level in said well,
(h) flexible straps providing an integral hinge connection between said structure and said caps,
(i) and a plurality of spaced projections receiving said capsules therebetween and hold them in readily accessible position on said insert,
(1') and wrapping entirely enveloping said capsules and said insert;
(k) each of said lens Wells having the capacity for receiving and holding at least one-half the quantity of liquid contained in one capsule, which capacity is sufficient liquid in which to immerse a contact lens.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,980,141 11/1934 MacGregor 206-43 3,072,528 1/ 1963 Kludas 206--63.2 X 3,089,500 5/1963 Stalcup 206--5 X 3,124,240 3/ 1964 Croan 206-5 3,129,808 4/1964 Amen 2065 3,211,281 10/1965 Speshock 2061 X 3,212,907 10/1965 Caproli 20645.33 X
LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.