Title:
Variable pressure ear clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable ear clip device and of the type providing variable pressure on surfaces of the outer ear. The adjustable ear clip comprises two primary members: a base plate (1) with two opposing support ears (2), and an ear-engaging member which includes an ear-engaging plate (3) comprising a spring tongue (4) and paired pivot arms (6l and 6r). The two opposing support ears (2) are oriented perpendicularly to the base plate (1), and comprise a multiplicity of opposed apertures (5) of varying distances from the base plate (1). The opposing support ears (2) may be in the form of parallel columns or an arch, and may be connected by a planar or rounded connection plate (7) that is substantially perpendicular to both the base plate (1) and the paired pivot arms (6l and 6r). In addition, the ear-engaging member comprises a substantially planar ear-engaging plate (3), a spring tongue (4) extending from the ear-engaging plate (3), and paired pivot arms (6l and 6r) extending from the ear-engaging plate (3) on each side of the spring tongue (4).



Inventors:
Memar, Omeed (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
09/751481
Publication Date:
09/05/2002
Filing Date:
12/28/2000
Assignee:
MEMAR OMEED
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/14.4
International Classes:
A44C7/00; (IPC1-7): A44C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JACKSON, ANDRE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Omeed Memar (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An adjustable pressure ear clip, comprising a support member comprising a base plate, paired support arms oriented substantially perpendicularly to said base plate, a multiplicity of opposed pivot apertures in each of said support ears at varying distances from said base plate, and an ear-engaging member comprising an ear-engaging plate, spring tongue extending from the ear engaging plate, and paired pivot arms extending from the ear engaging plate on each side of the spring tongue, wherein said pivot arms are rotationally connected with said pivot apertures when said ear clip is assembled.

1. a. The adjustable pressure ear clip of claim 1 which further comprises a connection plate connecting said support ears oriented substantially perpendicular to said support pivot arms and to said base plate.

2. An adjustable pressure ear clip comprising a support member and an ear-engaging member wherein the support member contains a multiplicity of paired apertures for attachment of the ear-engaging member and wherein the pressure on the ear when said ear clip is in place on a wearer is varied by varying the position at which said support and ear-engaging members are connected.

3. A method for defining the pressure exerted by an ear clip having a support member and an ear-engaging member comprising providing a multiplicity of locations on said support member to which said ear-engaging and support members can be attached, and selectively attaching said members at an attachment location.

Description:

BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to pressure clips used on the outer ear, specifically for applying pressure to scars and keloids.

BACKGROUND—DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

[0002] A number of devices have been designed for applying pressure to the ear lobe for flattening of keloids. The disadvantages to most designs are the bulky structure, difficulty in uncomfortable fit, lack of ability to adjust the pressure applied. The most commonly used device is the Glori hypo-allergic pressure earrings (Padgett Instruments, Inc, Kansas City). However, this design fails to meet the needs of many patients because its pressure cannot be adjusted; it is made of metal, which deter those allergic to some metals from wearing it; has an ornamental appearance, which deter some men from wearing it; and is rather expensive.

[0003] There have been many attempts in the prior art to control spring tension in a resulting pressure on a wearer's ear lobe. In addition, various prior art devices provide a way for the user to select a custom tension or pressure level of the ear clip to make it more comfortable to wear. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,829,789 issued to Tsamas, discloses a variable pressure earring clasp which is capable of varying the gripping pressure applied to the ear lobe. A pressure controller is slidably mounted on a center prong of the clasp so that by sliding the pressure controller, the gripping pressure of the clasp may be decreased or increased. U.S. Pat. No. 5,170,644, issued to Calabro, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,020,734, issued to Withers, both generally disclosed an adjustable spring clamp for earrings where the throw of the earring-gauging member is limited by a ratching-tye structure. Also, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,553,467 and 5,551,259, both issued to Calabro, describe an adjustable ear clip, where the pressure is adjusted with a protruding threaded bolt.

[0004] Prior art attempts to provide a structure, which enables the user to vary the pressure applied to the ear lobe, however, they suffer from various shortcomings and disadvantages. These prior art devices typically require many additional parts and require substantial tooling. Furthermore, the above designs are best in the form of a metal, and are not conducive for manufacture in other elements, like plastic. It is desirable to have a clip made of a clear material like plastic, which is light-weight, clear, indiscrete, pliable, non-irritating, and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

[0005] Constant physical pressure has certain clinical uses and is one method for treating keloids. See, Brent, Annals Plastic Surgery, 1:579-581 (1978); Snyder, British J Plastic Surgery, 27:186-187, (1974); Yotsuyanagi, British J Plstic Surgery, 46:622-623, (1993); Agrawal et al, British J Plastic Surgery, 51:122-123, (1998); Mercer and Studd, British J Plastic Surgery, 36:75-78, (1983); Fujimori et al, Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, 42:322-327, (1968); Argamaso, British J Plastic Surgery, 30:100, (1977); Lapidus and Davis, Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, 59:287, (1977). With this treatment, keloids flattened, became more cosmetically acceptable, and recur less frequently after excision.

[0006] Keloids and hypertrophic scars appear on the skin of susceptible individuals spontaneously or after trauma. Keloids are pronounced scars that present as hard bumps or swellings, and can cause much distress, both aesthetic and functional. Keloids can cause pain, itching, and burning. The outer ear, especially the ear lobe is a common site for keloid formation.

SUMMARY

[0007] The present invention preserves the advantages of prior art adjustable ear clips employed in treating keloids and the jewelry industry. In addition, it provides new advantages not found in currently available adjustable ear clips devices, and overcomes many disadvantages of such currently available devices.

[0008] The invention is generally directed to a novel and unique adjustable ear clip device with particular application in providing an ear clip which is adjustable to the wearers ear and keloid size, giving a more comfortable and effective fit.

Objects and Advantages

[0009] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an adjustable ear clip that can be modified to apply variable pressure to a wearer's ear lobe. Another object of the present invention is to provide an adjustable ear clip which retains its custom pressure settings over many uses. Also, another object of the present invention is to provide an adjustable ear clip that can be made of light-weight, clear materials, like plastic. It is a further object of the present invention to provide an adjustable ear clip which can be manufactured inexpensively.

[0010] Accordingly, besides the objects and advantages of the adjustable ear clip described in my above patent, several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

[0011] (a) to provide an adjustable ear clip with only two members, which can be made of different materials, including metals or plastics.

[0012] (b) to provide an adjustable ear clip that can be produced in a variety of colors, including clear plastic, making it less conspicuous, and more likely to be worn by men suffering from keloids on the ear; also, plastic would be lighter in weight.

[0013] (c) to provide an adjustable ear clip that would apply constant pressure while on the ear lobe.

[0014] (d) to provide an ear clip that can be adjusted for appropriate pressure on the ear.

[0015] (e) to provide an ear clip that can be used on the lobe and helix of the outer ear.

[0016] (f) to provide an ear clip that maintains its custom pressure over many uses.

[0017] (g) To provide an ear clip that is contured to the ear lobe.

[0018] (h) to provide an adjustable ear clip for applying pressure to keloids or post surgical excision sites of keloids, which can be manufactured relatively inexpensively.

DRAWING FIGURES

[0019] For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is made to the following description taken in connection with the following drawing, which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is an exploded view of the variable pressure ear clip constructed in accordance with the invention

Reference Numerals In Drawings

[0021] 1

1 =base plate
2 =opposing support ears
3 =ear-engaging plate
4 =spring tongue
5 =pivot apertures
6l =left pivot arms
6r =right pivot arms
7 =connection plate

DESCRIPTION—Preferred Embodiment

[0022] The preferred embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1 includes two primary members. A support structure generally includes a base plate 1 with a pair of ears 2 at the opposing ends of the base plate 1. The ears 2 are positioned substantially perpendicular to the base plate 1 and each include two or more pivot apertures 5 therethrough. The opposing, support ears 2 may be in the form of parallel columns or an arch and may be connected by a planar or rounded connection plate 7 that is substantially perpendicular to both the base plate 1 and the support, pivot arms 6l and 6r.

[0023] The opposing ear-engaging plate 3 includes a pair of pivot arms 6l and 6r and a spring tongue 4 positioned therebetween. Each of the pivot arms 6l and 6r include protrusions at their ends which engage with the pivot apertures 5 and the pair of ears 2. By applying pressure to the pivot arms 6l and 6r, the protrusions at their ends will disengage with one set of pivot apertures 5, and can be fitted into another set of pivot apertures 5, adjusting the ear engaging plate member towards or away from the base 1; in this, the amount of pressure applied can be adjusted.

[0024] The dimensions of the embodiment of the invention will comprise a range from 0.5 cm to 2 cm, and anywhere in between and combination and permutations thereof as well as any dimension outside this given range. While there is shown and described herein certain structural specifications embodying the invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements of the parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.

Advantages

[0025] From the description above, a number of advantages of my variable pressure ear clip for keloids on the ear lobe become evident:

[0026] (a) The use of two members to make an adjustable ear clip.

[0027] (b) The use of different materials, including plastics, in manufacture of this clip will permit the use of clear plastics, making the clip less conspicuous, and more likely to be worn by men.

[0028] (c) The clip could be manufactured relatively inexpensively.

[0029] (d) The ear clip would apply constant pressure while on the ear lobe.

[0030] (e) The pressure of the ear clip can be adjusted to fit the ear lobe.

[0031] (f) The clip could be used on the lobe and helix of the ear.

[0032] (g) The ear clip would be manufactured from material having structural memory, therefore, maintaining its custom pressure over many uses.

[0033] (h) The ear clip is designed to the contour of the ear lobe.

[0034] (i) The ear clip could be used to apply pressure on keloids or post-surgical excision sites of keloids on the ear.

Operation

[0035] The manner of using the ear clip to apply pressure to a keloid or post-surgical keloid site is generally similar to that of clips in present use. In conjunction with the base plate 1 and the two opposing support ears 2 oriented substantially perpendicular to the base plate 1—and connected by a planar or rounded connection plate 7 perpendicular to both the base plate 1 and opposing support ears 2—the ear-engaging member comprising of the substantially planar ear-engaging plate 3, a spring tongue 4 extending from ear-engaging plate 3, and paired pivot arms 6l and 6r extending from the ear-engaging plate 3 on each side of the spring tongue 4, provide the functional dynamic for exerting variable pressure on an ear surface.

[0036] Pressure is varied by means of adjusting the pivot arms 6l and 6r into the open pivot apertures 5 in the opposing ear segment of the base plate 1. This is accomplished by applying pressure to the protrusion of the pivot arms 6l and 6r; once one of the pivot arms 6l and 6r is disengaged, it is then possible to remove the other engaged pivot arm 6l and 6r from the opposed aperture 5, thereby repositioning the entire ear-engaging plate member 3 to apply a varied level of pressure relative to the base plate 1.

[0037] The clip may be opened when the wearer does not wish to wear the ear clips any longer and the device will retain its positioning, so that on subsequent uses by the wearer, the device will retain its custom pressure setting.

Conclusion, Ramifications, and Scope

[0038] Accordingly, the reader will see that the variable pressure ear clip can be used to apply constant pressure to the outer ear, especially the ear lobe. In addition, the clip can be manufactured from numerous materials, including clear plastic, which would make the clip discreet, light, and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.