US 3640274 A
The device disclosed herein includes a container for medicated solutions to be administered to the eye, an outlet member associated with the upper portion of the container serving as a directional sprayer, and a mirror mounted and positioned on the device so that the image of the eye is reflected to the user of the device.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Costello 51 Feb. 8, 1972  EYE-SPRAYING DEVICE HAVING MIRROR  lnventor: Christopher l-lollet Costello, Summit, NJ.
I731 Assignee: Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York,
I22] Filed: Sept. 3, I969  Appl. No.: 868,262
Related US. Application Data  Division of Ser. No. 592,025, Nov. 4, 1966, Pat. No.
US. Cl 128/173, 222/527 ..A6lm 11/00 Field of Search ..222/182, 183, 402.11, 402.12,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,736,316 2/ i956 Stovall ..128/233 3,342,178 9/1967 Freedman ..128/173.1 3,469,746 9/1969 Meloechi ..222/402. 12
Primary Examiner-Stanley H. Tollberg Attorney-Norman Blumenkopf, Murray M. Grill, Herbert S. Sylvester, Thomas J. Corum, Ronald S. Cornell and Robert L. Stone  ABSTRACT The device disclosed herein includes a container for medicated solutions to be administered to the eye, an outlet member associated with the upper portion of the container serving as a directional sprayer, and a mirror mounted and positioned on the device so that the image of the eye is reflected to the user of the device.
J/I/l I //l II EYE-SPRAYING DEVICE HAVING MIRROR This is a division of application Ser. No. 592,025, filed Nov. 4, 1966 now US. Pat. No. 3,506,001.
The present invention relates to administering medicated solutions to the eye and, more particularly, to spray devices for administering medicated solutions to the eye and provided with a mirror so placed on thespray device that the operator by seeing the reflected image of the operators eye can direct a spray accurately into the eye which is reflected in the aforesaid mirror.
The conventional methods of administering medicated solutions tothe eye are by-the use of droppers and eye cups or baths. Since these come in direct contact with the eye, the opportunity for transfer of infection to the dropper or eye cup or to the medicated solution is considerable. The use of a fine spray by means of a nebulizer, squeeze bottle or aerosol devices has greatly reduced the risk of infection. However, considerable difficulty is experienced with these devices in accurately directing the medication into the eye.
The present invention provides for the attachment to the spray device of a small mirror so placed on the spray device that the operator by seeing the reflected image of the operator's eye to be treated can direct the spray accurately into the eye. The mirror also serves to focus light onto the eye. The mirror is positioned on the spray device so that the image of the eye to be treated is reflected and the spray of medicated solution is accurately directed simultaneously. By the use of the mirror on the spray device the spray can be directed into the eye before the reflex action called the wink, takes place.
While the mirror can be mounted on the spray device in any position which with or without movement or adjustment thereof provides a reflection of the eye to be treated which is seen by the operator's eye, it is preferred to mount the mirror concentric with the spray nozzle. In other words, it is preferred to employ a plane'mirror having a central orifice through which the spray nozzle projects on which the mirror is mounted. However, the mirror can be concave and can be mounted on other parts of the spray device as will be manifest from the drawings in which:
7 FIG. 1 is a perspective'of a compressible container having a mirror mounted on the dispensing nozzle;
FIG. 2 is atop view of the compressible container depicted center thereof above the plane of the horizontal axis of the dispensing orifice;
FIG.'4 is a side view of the dispenser illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 5 is a top view of the dispensing device illustrated in FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a front view of a plane mirror suitable for mounting as illustrated in FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a cross section taken at line 77 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is a perspective of a container having a button controlling the discharge of the contents of the container mounted in the bottom thereof and having a mirror mounted on the side of the container below the discharge outlet of the dispensing nozzle;
FIG. 9 is a side view of the container illustrated in FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a perspective of an aerosol container having a hemispherical cap and having a mirror mounted on the inner side of said cap;
FIG. 11 is a front view of the container depicted in FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a vertical cross section of a container having plunger type dispensing device and having a mirror mounted on the dispensing nozzle having the horizontal axis of the mirror and the horizontal axis of the dispensing nozzle in substantially the same plane;
FIG. I3 is a front view of the container of which a vertical cross section is provided in FIG. l2;
FIG. 14 is a side elevation of a container having a plungertype dispensing device in which themirroris mounte'dqnthe closure device of the container 3 below the plane" of the dispensing nozzle; 7
FIG. 15 is a front view of a container having a plunger-type dispensing device as illustrated in FIG. 14;
FIG. 16 is a top view of the dispensing nozzle and mirror mounted thereon of a container such as illustrated in FIG. 14;
FIG. 17 is a side view partly in section of the top of a container having a plunger type dispensing device having a mirror mounted concentric with the dispensing nozzle and a flexible tube connecting the discharge of the plunger and the inlet of the dispensing nozzle; and
FIG. 18 is a front view of the top of a container such as illustrated in FIG. 17.
As those skilled in the art will understand and recogniz' the containers and dispensing devices illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 16 are old in the art and are not a part of the present invention. However, while it is preferable to mount the mirror with its axis coinciding with the longitudinal axis of the dispensing or delivery tube and nozzle it will be recognized that with the plunger type of dispensing mechanism, some movement of the mirror usually occurs. It has been found that this minor disadvantage can be overcome by providinga flexible conduit connecting the discharge of the plunger with the delivery tube and nozzle as illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18.
In FIG. 1 there is illustrated the conventional container 1 fabricated from pliable material such as an elastomer, for example polyolefm, particularly polyethylene, polypropylene or a mixture of polyolefins from which the medicated solution is discharged through discharge tube 2 and dispensing nozzle 3 by manual compression of container 1. As provided by the present invention a plane or concave mirror 4 is mounted, preferably rigidly, on the delivery means, i.e., the aforesaid discharge tube 2 or dispensing nozzle 3 and preferably on discharge tube 2. The mirror is mounted with the axis thereof coinciding with the horizontal axis of discharge tube 2.
Those skilled in the art will recognize that the container and delivery means illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 is the wellknown dispensing container having a depressible button 10 in the bottom thereof by means of which the fluid contents of the container is ejected therefrom through the discharge tube and dispensing nozzle. The container 11 is usually fabricated from plastic in a conical shape. Shoulders I2 are provided to improve retention of the container 11 by the hand. The container is provided with a closure member 13, a discharge tube 14, and a nozzle 15. As provided by the present invention a mirror 16 is mounted in any suitable manner on the container to provide a reflection of the area to be treated, e.g., the eye, and of the dispensing nozzle by the person being treated. Thus, for example, the mirror 16 is provided with tabs or legs 17 which grip closure member 13 or are inserted in slots (not shown) in closure member 13. The lower edge of mirror 16 between tabs or legs 17 is cut away as at 18 to permit the mirror to sit snugly on discharge tube 14. As those skilled in the art know, an aerosol cartridge containing the medicament is inserted into container 11 in the usual manner.
A similar container, having a depressible button 20 in the bottom of container 21 is illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. As those skilled in the an know an aerosol cartridge containing the medicament is inserted in container 21 and the discharge thereof controlled by button 20. By pressure upwards on button 20 the contents of container 21 is discharged through tube 22 mounted in closure 23 and thence through nozzle 24. The container is fabricated from any suitable material, preferably relatively rigid plastic which is molded to provide at one side a plane surface having an angle of about 45 downward with the surface of the top of the container. The mirror 25 is mounted on said plane surface and the closure, bearing the discharge tube mounted on the container with the nozzle in line with the vertical axis of the mirror 25.
FIGS. 10 and Il illustrate the provision, in accordance with the present invention, of a mirror in the cap of an aerosol container. In such a container the medicated solution is discharged by a vapor tap valve, i.e., the vaporous propellant not the liquid propellant. A container 26 is provided with closure means 27, discharge tube 28 and dispensing nozzle 29. A cap 30, usually hemispherical in shape, is pivotally mounted by means of hinge 31 on rod 32. The inner concave side of the cap 30 is a polished mirror surface 33. When the cap 30 is in the raised position as seen in FIG. 11, the mirror surface 33 reflects an image of the dispensing nozzle 29 and the eye being treated to the eye being treated.
A container provided with a plunger-type discharge means well known to those skilled in the art is illustrated with the mirror mounted on the discharge tube in FIGS. 12 and 13. As those skilled in the art know the first depression of the piston loads the discharge device and the second depression of the piston dispenses the load through the discharge tube and nozzle.
As an alternative to mounting the mirror on the discharge tube the mirror can be mounted on the closure means as illustrated in FIGS. 14, and 16. In other respects the container and discharge means are the same as illustrated in FIG. 12.
Another alternative method of mounting the mirror so that the patient can see the reflection of the area to be treated and the dispensing nozzle is illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18.
Referring to FIG. 12 for the details of the plunger-type dispensing means common to the spraying devices illustrated in FIGS. 12 through 18, the container 40 is fabricated of any suitable material such as aluminum, rigid plastic, elastomer, provided with closure member 41. In closure member 41 concentric with the vertical axis thereof is mounted in any suitable manner a dip tube 42 having a depressible head 43. Head 43 has a centrally located conduit 44 in fluid communication with discharge tube 45 and dispensing nozzle 46. Subtended from head 43 within conduit 44 and rigidly mounted on head 43 is rod 47. Head 43 is rigidly mounted on conduit 48 which is slidably mounted in closure 41. An upper ball valve 49 controls the flow of fluid from dip tube 42, conduits 50 and 51, and conduit 44. Lower ball valve 52 controls the flow of fluid from dip tube 42 to conduit 50. A spring 53 is compressed by the depression of head 43 and conduit 48, closing the lower ball valve. Rod 47 rests on upper ball valve 49 when the head 43 is fully depressed.
When head 43 is depressed the first time upper ball valve 49 is held in the seat therefore, subsequent depression of the head 43 depresses conduit 48 in conduit 50 and compresses spring 53 which in turn closes lower ball valve 52. The complete depression of head 43 and conduit 48 discharges air from conduit 50. Release of head 43 permits medicated solution to flow into conduit 50. The second time head 43 is depressed and released the medicated solution flows into conduit 48 and thence to discharge tube 45 and dispensing nozzle 46.
A mirror 54 which permits self-medication by providing a reflection of the area to be treated and a reflection of the dispensing nozzle can be mounted in any suitable manner on discharge tube 45 as illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13.
Alternatively, the mirror 54 can be mounted on a base 55 and the base 55 mounted on closure 41 with the top edge of the mirror preferably in the same horizontal plane as the top of closure member 41 or in a manner such that the top edge of the mirror is below the horizontal plane in which the lower portion of discharge tube is when head 43 is depressed a maximum. In other words, the mirror is mounted on the closure so that the head 43 and tube 45 can be depressed the maximum distance without obstruction of the downward movement of the head by contact of head 43 or tube 45 with the mirror. The mirror 54 is mounted on closure member 41 less than 90 and greater than 45 to ensure that the user can see a reflection of the area to be treated and a reflection of the discharge tube and dispensing nozzle. This method of mounting the mirror 54 is illustrated in FIGS. 14, 15 and 16.
As illustrated in FIGS. 17 and 18 the disadvantage of the movement of the mirror mounted on the discharge tube when the plun e r head 43 can also be overcome by providing a flexible con ult between the discharge tube 45 and the dispensing nozzle 46. Thus, one end of flexible conduit 56, fabricated from polyolefin for example, is mounted on a short discharge tube 45 in any suitable manner, e.g., by means of an adhesive, the other end of flexible conduit 56 is mounted in any suitable manner on dispensing nozzle 56. Mirror 54 is mounted in any suitable manner on dispensing nozzle 46 with the horizontal axis of the nozzle and the horizontal axis of the mirror coinciding. An extension 57 of the lower edge of closure member 41 provides a ledge upon which mirror 54 rests and can be secured thereto in any suitable manner.
The dispensing means are known to those skilled in the art. Preferably, those dispensing means known to the art which discharge a metered volume of medicated solution are preferred.
What is claimed is:
1. A self-contained device for administering to an eye a burst of medicament-containing mist, comprising a self-supporting normally upright portable container holding a supply of said medicament, a closure member mounted on and closing the container as a burst of mist is discharged to an eye of a user, a discharge tube mounted in said closure member and including a dispensing nozzle, manually actuatable dispensing means mounted on said container, said dispensing means normally being positioned in a nondispensing position and being manually movable to a dispensing position by a user to propel medicated solution from said container through said tube and out said dispensing nozzle, and a mirror connected to said container and positioned with respect to said container and said dispensing nozzle so that during treatment the user may observe the reflection of his eyein said mirror.
2. ,The device set forth in claim 1 wherein a cap is hingeably mounted'on the top of the container constructed and arranged to cover the discharge tube and dispensing nonle when closed and having the horizontal axis of said cap in the plane of the vertical axis of said discharge tube, and wherein the mirror is mounted on the inside of said cap and having the horizontal axis thereof in the plane of the vertical axis of the discharge tube.
3. The device set forth in claim I, wherein a metering valve having a depressible cap is mounted in the closure member, wherein the discharge tube and dispensing nozzle is mounted on said depressible cap, and wherein the mirror is mounted on said discharge tube.
4. The device set forth in claim 1, wherein a metering valve having a depressible cap is mounted in the closure member, wherein the discharge tube and dispensing nozzle is mounted on said depressible cap, wherein a mirror base is mounted on said closure member, and wherein the mirror is mounted on said mirror base.
5. The device set forth in claim 1, wherein a metering valve having a depressible cap is mounted in the closure member, wherein a discharge tube is mounted on said depressible cap, wherein a flexible conduit is mounted on the outlet of said discharge tube, wherein the dispensing nozzle is mounted on the free end of said flexible conduit; wherein the closure member has a flange extending approximately to the vertical plane of the periphery of the container, wherein the mirror is mounted on said dispensing nozzle with the horizontal axis of said mirror coinciding with the horizontal axis of said dispensing nozzle, and wherein said mirror is also mounted on said flange of said closure member.