DEVICES TO DILATE NASAL AIRWAYS FOR VARIOUS APPLICATIONS INVOLVING: ACTIVITIES USING GOGGLES WITH A HELMET OR GOGGLES ALONE; SWIMMING WITH GOGGLES, WITHOUT OR WITH A SWIM CAP; SLEEP; SLEEP WITH A CPAP MASK; AND FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
Medical devices are disclosed as providing nasal airway dilation in subjects in need thereof whose nasal airways are partially or completely blocked, such as for sleep; with CPAP masks; for exercise; wearing goggles alone or with helmets; and for swimming. In an aspect, the devices with a group of applications provide nasal dilation to overcome obstruction caused by nasal valve dysfunction. Methods of employing the same to dilate nasal airways are further disclosed.
This is a Continuation Application of U.S. Ser. No. 14/512,023 filed Oct. 10, 2014, which application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 to provisional applications U.S. Ser. No. 61/978,430 filed Apr. 11, 2014, and claims benefit of U.S. Ser. No. 61/955,881 filed Mar. 20, 2014, and claims benefit of 61/933,935 filed Jan. 31, 2014, all of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety.FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to the fields of medical devices for several applications such as: activities using goggles with helmets or goggles alone; swim goggles with or without swim caps; sleep alone or with a CPAP mask and physical activities. More specifically, but not exclusively, the invention relates to devices that dilate the nasal airway in subjects whose nasal airways are partially or completely blocked for any number of causes, the most common being obstruction caused by nasal valve dysfunction. The present invention provides devices and methods of employing similar elements to achieve the primary function of dilating nasal airways for these applications.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
To understand mechanisms and devices employed to improve nasal airway patency, the anatomical structure should be understood. Nasal valves are anatomically divided into external and internal nasal valves. The external nasal valve is defined for each nostril laterally by the nasal alae with the underlying caudal border of the lower lateral cartilage, the columella at the base of the septum to the tip of the nose, the nasal floor, and medially by the septum. The nasalis muscles dilate the external nasal valve during inspiration. The opening to the external valve area is sometimes referred to as the nasal vestibule formed by walls as described. The internal nasal valve compromises the area bounded by the caudal border of the upper lateral cartilage, the septum, the head of the inferior turbinate and the pyriform aperture with tissues surrounding it.
Based on simplified laminar flow equations (referred to as the Poiseuille equation), a decrease in the radius of the nasal airway causes a 4-fold decrease in flow. Hence any reduction in the opening diameter of the nasal airway, especially in the vicinity of the external and/or internal valves, will significantly reduce inspiratory and expiratory air volume and flow rates. In addition this effect will be accentuated when a subject attempts to inspire rapidly which will reduce the air pressure inside the nasal cavity as compared to atmospheric pressure, and thereby cause more collapse of the affected nasal airway, i.e. Bernoulli effect. This effect becomes noticeable with vigorous exercise that is associated with rapid respiratory rates.
There are many causes of nasal obstruction. A common cause is idiopathic in which there is a reduction of cartilage and/or elastic tissue support needed to maintain patency of the valves both external and internal. In particular loss of support often involves the external valves and/or prolapse of the nasal tip of the nose. As aging occurs this effect can become more noticeable. Other causes of nasal obstruction include septal deviation; turbinate hypertrophy from allergy and/or rebound swelling from overuse of vasoconstrictor nasal sprays; trauma-induced; iatrogenic post-rhinoplasty; foreign bodies; neoplasm and polyps and from other less common medical conditions. A health care provider can evaluate the cause of nasal obstruction visually with rhinoscopes; CT scan; MRI; measurement of air flow; and by a simple test of valve patency, commonly referred to as the Cottle test. In this test the subject is instructed to gently obstruct one nostril at a time with a finger to determine subjective reduction of inspiratory nasal air flow involving the contralateral nostril. Then the subject is instructed to place one or two fingers on the lower side of the contralateral nostril at the nasal-facial angle, and stretch the skin toward the ipsilateral ear. The procedure is repeated for the other nostril. If the nasal valve (external and/or internal) is partially or completely obstructing air flow, stretching the skin laterally will pull on the underlying tissues attached to the nasal valves and/or vestibules and open them to improve air flow/volume into that tested side of the nasal cavity. The Cottle test is considered a subjective diagnostic test for the presence of nasal valve obstruction. It is sometimes used by plastic or ENT surgeons to determine if a subject might be a candidate for a rhinoplastic procedure to improve nasal obstruction and/or as a post-operative test to validate improvement in nasal airway obstruction. Although not specifically described by the Cottle effect, a similar stretching of skin posterior of the lateral canthi in a lateral and somewhat superior vector can also effect nasal valve/vestibule patency. This effect is discussed in the description of the invention herein as it is applied to swim goggles.
There are many marketed devices available to improve nasal airway patency in subjects with obstruction from external/internal valves. The purpose of these devices is to ease airway flow during sleep or exercise and to reduce snoring. In some situations, nasal obstruction may force a subject to breathe through the mouth, which will exacerbate snoring due to oral-pharyngeal tissue vibrations. In some subjects with sleep apnea, severely impaired nasal obstruction with or without associated mouth breathing, can exacerbate severity of sleep apnea and also make it more difficult to correct sleep apnea with nasal or full face continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks.
Marketed nasal dilator devices fall into three categories. The first are external devices associated with adhesive tape applied to the nose (e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 5,476,091; U.S. Pat. No. 5,806,525), and/or to the nasal alae (e.g. U.S. Publication No. 2007/0255309; U.S. Pat. No. 8,047,201), and/or to the tip of the nose (e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,377; U.S. Publication No. 2011/0106140). These nasal devices with adhesives contain resilient spring or biasing mean(s), that when applied to the various locations of the nose, cause the attached skin and underlying tissue(s) to open the nasal valves and thereby improve nasal air flow in the subject. These tapes come in a variety of shapes, can be placed on various locations of the nose and/or face, contain a variety of spring mechanisms and use different kinds of adhesives. A limitation of such tapes are they are designed to be used one time and disposed and cannot be relocated easily for comfort or to adjust to improve nasal valve opening because adhesive tape loses its ability to adhere if removed and reattached. Hence they are expensive, environmentally objectionable, cannot be relocated easily, are not reusable, and on a personal level subjects often stop using them because they peel off under oily or sweaty skin, thereby defeating their purpose to improve nasal air flow during sleep or with physical activities. They can cause discomfort when peeled off, and individuals who use facial lotions, cannot achieve good adherence to their nose and/or face with these adhesives. Additionally subjects using these tapes may notice transient swelling of the nasal alae and vestibules, which is unsightly and may be caused by venous pooling and reduced venous outflow from the nasal tissues while wearing the tapes.
A newly marketed device (U.S. Pat. No. 8,240,309; U.S. Pat. No. 8,302,607) called Theravent® uses a tape to occlude both nostrils. The tape includes a micro-valve technology that inhibits expiration more than inspiration to create expiratory positive airway pressure within the nasal-pulmonary respiratory tract. The increase in expiratory resistance can retain air volume that expands the diameters of the nasal-respiratory tract and thereby improve nasal airflow during inspiration. It is costly as a disposable, can cause whistling through one way valves during respiration, may not work if the air pressure seal is broken by mouth breathing and users express discomfort noticing that before falling asleep they cannot breathe normally because of increased expiratory resistance. They also cannot be relocated and reattached easily as adhesive tape loses its adherent ability once removed and then reattached. U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,746 shows adhesive pads with a resilient nasal dilator member to attach to eyeglasses. The adhesive attaching means interfere in adjustment of the eyeglass for optimizing visual acuity once the adhesive attachment of the nasal dilator is in place. Also the adhesive nasal dilator can only be used one time.
U.S. Pat. No. 8,051,850 shows a nasal dilator device with attaching means for contact pads that use adhesives or friction pressure to keep the contact pads from pulling off a user's face. As will be best understood with the description of the benefits of the present invention, the disadvantages of structure
The second category of nasal dilators (e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 6,863,066; U.S. Pat. No. 6,004,342; U.S. Pat. No. 7,563,271) are spring-like nasal dilators that are inserted inside the nostrils to expand the volume of air space inside the vestibules. These devices are made of metal or plastic, and have a resilient spring mechanism that expand the vestibules in many directions, particularly anteriorly and laterally. Subjects are instructed to leave them in situ inside the nasal cavities during sleep and/or exercise. The problems and limitations with these devices include: (1) they behave as a foreign body inside the nose and may cause discomfort, itching, and in some subjects, reflex sneezing. There are also case reports in the medical literature involving these devices being displaced unknowingly inside the nose of users and creating foreign body-induced inflammation; (2) they can cause pressure induced erosions and epistaxis; (3) they have the potential to irritate and enhance neuro-reflex induction of nasal mucosal swelling and rhinorrhea and thereby increase nasal obstruction; (4) they should be cleaned optimally each day before reinserting them inside the subject's nose to prevent bacterial contamination and infection inside the nostrils; (5) wearing them especially when turning over in bed during sleep or during exercise can cause them to fall out of the nose and (6) additionally subjects using these devices may notice post-use swelling of the nasal alae, which although transient, is unsightly and may be caused by venous pooling from reduced nasal venous outflow while wearing the devices.
A third category uses a head band or mask to enhance nasal valve opening and combines adhesive or non-adhesive attaching means for nasal dilator function. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 8,459,254 describes a device using an adhesive to attach an elastic band to each side of the nose. The elastic band wraps over the ears circumferentially around the back of the head to permit tightening and attaching the device to the user's face and head. By stretching the head retainer strap laterally on the user's face, the attachment sites of the skin pull open the nasal valves per the Cottle effect. It employs a completely circumferential elastic head band that can be displaced by user head movement and thus makes it difficult to maintain forces for nasal dilation to either or both sides of user's nose. The adhesive could be pulled off the skin if the stretch pressure exceeds the force of adhesive attachment to the skin. Moreover, some users cannot tolerate adhesives because they cause contact skin irritation and users who apply facial creams or lotions may have difficulty keeping adhesive tape in place. There is also specific mention that the invention avoids coverage over a subject's nose. Once the adhesive is applied, then adjusting the mask for comfort or to improve opening the valves becomes difficult, as most adhesives curl up or lose their adherence ability when they are pulled off and reapplied. In essence, this category of devices does not have an easy reversible adjustable, repositionable or reusable means to obtain an optimal comfortable lateral pull to open the nasal valves nor can it be reused without changing the adhesives. Moreover because it employs a circumferential elastic band and not a rigid or semi-rigid housing, the forces distributed to either or both sides of the user's nose for nasal dilation can be dissipated by displacement of the head band with user head movement. This nasal valve opening device can attach to eye glasses directly to the device using adhesive means to attach to a user's face that doesn't permit adjustment, and as such, it is apparent the device must remain permanently attached to the skin of the user which would otherwise preclude visual optimization for the user. Other similar devices (e.g. U.S. Publication No. 2007/0028917; U.S. Publication No. 2001/0023695; U.S. Publication No. 2009/0025715; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,860,263) also utilize adhesive tape means for attachment on each side of a user's face to open nasal valves.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,336,456 and U.S. Publication No. 2012/0285468 describe a surgical and ventilation mask respectively, both worn about the nose and face and tied about ears and head. Both include a nasal dilator mechanism comprised of adhesives strategically located inside the masks. U.S. Pat. No. 6,336,456 describes the adhesives both on the inside of the mask and on opposing sides of the user's nose. When the adhesive tapes on the user's skin and inside the mask attach to each other, the mask has an inherent resilient spring which forces the mask to return to its original configuration, and thereby cause nasal valves to open when the skin overlying the user's nose moves away, anteriorly and laterally. The adhesive resilient spring may improve external nasal valve patency but it does not provide for an adequate lateral vector pull to open the internal and external nasal valves. The described nasal dilator of U.S. Pat. No. 6,336,456 is in essence a hybrid of the external type of nasal dilator previously described, but with a mask containing the resilient member rather than having the resilient member located within the adhesive parts. Therefore, it has the same limitations using adhesive tape as it cannot be reused or relocated easily and/or adjusted for comfort to improve nasal airway function. In addition, the mask disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,336,456 covers most of the face, including mouth and nose, and likely comes in contact with the user's nose, all part of it functioning as a surgical mask.
U.S. Publication No. 2012/0285468 shows a ventilation mask containing an adhesive material to open the nasal valves. U.S. Publication No. 2012/0160240 describes a mask for a subject to wear to occlude light that may interfere with sleep and improve nasal breathing by decreasing nasal valve obstruction. These devices do not include an adhesive and instead include an elastic tightening means that encircles the user's head. The dilator function occurs by applying pressure directly onto the nose to cause the nostrils to expand. Its disadvantages are: (1) it applies inward posterior forces onto the nose and doesn't take advantage of the Cottle effect to maximize nasal vestibular and nasal valve patency; (2) it can reduce nasal vestibule volume by applying direct posterior vector pressure on the nose; and (3) the overall pressure applied to the nose creates user discomfort especially during sleep.
U.S. Publication No. 2011/0265802 shows a device worn to prevent mouth opening during sleep to minimize snoring. The forces apply a tightening vector above the upper lip and below the lower lip and under the chin to maintain closure of the mouth. These forces oppose the lateralizing forces needed to open the nasal valves and the device does not include an element to cross over and not contact the nose to optimize lateral forces.
All publications and patent applications in this specification are indicative of the level of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention pertains. All publications and patent applications are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication or patent application was specifically and individually indicated as incorporated by reference.
These aforementioned exemplary devices represent the commercially available options other than rhinoplasty; implant insertion both permanent and temporary to support and maintain internal valve patency; injection of a biomaterial to support the internal valve; nasal curettage using mechanical and/or a variety of electro-magnetic energy to improve nasal airway patency involving the nasal valves. Rhinoplasty may actually cause nasal airway obstruction when cartilage and other supporting structures are altered or resected as part of the procedure. It is estimated that ten percent of post-rhinoplasty subjects experience nasal obstruction.
Advantages of nasal breathing are well known as nasal breathing filters inspired air, humidifies dry air and warms cold air. Mouth breathing is undesirable during sleep and exercise, as it causes uncomfortable mouth dryness, dehydration and increases the likelihood of dental caries. There are also training devices, such as the Frolov breathing device, and educational web sites (e.g. www.normalbreathing.com) devoted to teaching how to improve nasal breathing over mouth breathing. Several claims are made regarding the advantage of nasal breathing versus mouth breathing. One claim states that nasal breathing retains more carbon dioxide in the upper respiratory tract which increases alveolar CO2 concentration on inspiration, thereby improving alveolar capillary vasodilation from retained CO2 and ultimately enhancing oxygen exchange into the circulation. Learning to breathe through one's nose requires constant conscious training which is not applicable to sleep and hence would not likely be effective for most individuals.
Hence there is a need in the art for devices and methods of use thereof that maintains and improve patency of the nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules without all the inherent risks and objections associated with existing nasal dilators. The present invention for various applications overcome these risks and objections as disclosed herein. The Detailed Description of the applications of the invention, utilize the Cottle effect by applying external forces around the user's nose, and/or face and/or head that cause underlying intricate anatomical attachments to the nose to open the nasal passages.
It is therefore a primary object, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to overcome deficiencies in the art of nasal dilation.
It is another objective, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to provide a nasal dilator device and method of use that aids in opening nasal valves, and/or nasal vestibules, can be adjusted, relocated, reused and retained on the user without easily falling off during sleep or during physical activity and exercise.
It is another objective, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to provide a nasal dilator device and method of use that opens nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules by including a housing or shell with a bridge located at any single or combination of locations such as over, above or below the nose, that apply forces on each side of the nose to improve nasal patency.
It is another objective, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to provide a nasal dilator device and method of use that can be worn for many applications such as for: sleep alone; sleep with a CPAP mask; snow related sports, motor biking related and contact or non-contact sports; for tactical military users; and swimming with goggles or with swim caps.
It is another objective, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to provide a nasal dilator device and method of use that provides comfort for the user both during sleep and/or during physical activities.
It is another objective, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to provide a nasal dilator device and method of use that can be customizable by altering dimensions, shapes, and material composition, so that users with different facial and head shapes and/or nasal dimensions can wear the device and still accomplish the same function to open the nasal valves and/or vestibules.
It is another objective, feature and/or advantage of the present invention to provide a nasal dilator device and method of use to improve nasal passage patency and reduce mouth breathing.
Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In an aspect of the present invention, the nasal dilator devices for various applications are accessories or integrated with existing manufactured products for applications worn on user's heads and/or faces. The invention discloses novel devices capable of opening the external and/or internal nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules and methods of use thereof. The invention has been devised for a variety of applications for improving nasal airway patency for: sleep alone; sleep with a CPAP mask; using goggles with a helmet or goggles alone for snow related sports, motor biking, contact and non-contact sports and for military users; and for swim goggles alone or with swim caps.
According to the invention, the nasal dilating devices for each of the various applications of use have common Essential Elements including (1) a rigid or semi-rigid housing with a bridge providing means for maintaining adjusted forces for nasal dilation involving either or both sides of user's nose; (2) a bridge(s), as part of the housing, located at any single or combination of locations over, below or above the user's nose to distribute nasal dilating forces to either or both sides of a user's nose and/or face; (3) mound(s) to enhance moments of forces for nasal dilation; (4) a holding means for mound(s) to maintain their positioning; (5) means for attachment of tightening means to housing; (6) capability of changing and varying tightening means onto mounds to open nasal passages i.e. nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules; (7) ability to adjust and/or relocate a mound to same or different location(s) in relation to user's nose and/or face and/or head as needed to improve nasal patency and/or patient comfort; and (8) reusability.
The nasal dilating devices for applications according to the invention are listed in the order in which they are described herein. They apply to: (1) goggles (also referred to as eyewear in the public domain) with or without a helmet for activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, dirt biking, contact or non-contact sports and military tactical use, etc.; (2) swim goggles alone or with swim caps; (3) hybrid mask for sleep and/or for contact or non-contact sports; and (4) CPAP masks. The Essential Elements apply to all the above applications and their embodiments thereof. As one skilled in the art will ascertain based on the disclosure of the invention, some of the applications may include additional components designed to overlap user's eyes. The nasal dilating device with Essential Elements described herein for applications with an eye covering component does not detract from the capability to achieve nasal passage dilation for these applications.
In an aspect, the device includes a housing or shell made of a rigid and/or semi-rigid material comprising a bridge located at any single or combination of locations, i.e. above, over and below the user's nose; mounds on either or both sides of the nose and/or face and/or head which will cause the nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules to open when a variable tightening means attached to the housing apply forces onto the mounds laterally, and/or superiorly and/or inferiorly or any vectored direction to accomplish this function. In a further aspect, the mounds may be permanently or reversibly attached, adjustable, re-locatable and reusable for optimal function and are located in regions on or close to the nasal-facial interfaces and/or over or around the maxillary regions, zygomatic arch region, and sides of the head.
Without being limited to a particular mechanism of action according to the applications and embodiments of the invention, the mounds provide moments of forces so when the device is activated by tightening means, the skin and anatomical structures attached to the nasal valves and/or vestibules are stretched and pulled to open the external and internal nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules bilaterally or unilaterally, and can also move the nasal tip superiorly and slightly posteriorly away from the upper lip. Beneficially, according to applications and embodiments of the invention, these maneuver(s) assist in improving and maintaining nasal patency and thereby enhance nasal airflow. As described according to various applications and embodiments of the invention, the devices can be adjusted, relocated, reused, removed and reattached for comfort and/or to improve nasal patency during sleep with and without CPAP masks, wearing goggles alone or in combination with a helmet, wearing swim goggles alone or with swim caps and for contact or non-contact sports.
Still another aspect of the present invention is a device for sleep apnea patients who use CPAP but whose nasal airways are compromised secondary to nasal valve dysfunction. The various applications and embodiments of the invention provide suitable devices to be worn in conjunction with a full face and/or nasal CPAP mask, thereby improving nasal passage opening, also reduce air leaks and/or cheek puffing out due to high pressures when using CPAP masks.
In an additional aspect, the nasal dilating device described herein can be an accessory or integrated into various components of aforementioned applications.
While multiple applications and embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments for applications of the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.
Various applications and their embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals may be used to represent like parts throughout the several views. Reference to various embodiments does not limit the scope of the invention. Figures represented herein are not limitations to the various embodiments according to the applications of the invention and are presented for exemplary illustration of the invention.DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION—NASAL DILATOR DEVICES FOR VARIOUS APPLICATIONS
The present invention relates to nasal devices that dilate the nasal airway in subjects whose nasal airways are partially or completely blocked. As mentioned previously, the various applications and embodiments of the devices according to the invention can be worn to improve nasal breathing. Applications for the devices according to the invention optimize nasal breathing for aerobic activity involving skiers, snow boarders, snowmobilers, motor/dirt bikers, runners, bikers, contact sports, military users, swimmers, and for sleep with and without a CPAP mask. The devices improve nasal breathing according to the applications and embodiments of the invention. Nasal breathing has many advantages such as improving filtering of inspired air, warming cold air and humidifying dry air. In particular warming cold air during snow sports, reduces cold induced mucus formation with nasal drainage, swelling and congestion of the lining of the respiratory tract, and in some asthma prone individuals, it reduces bronchospasm symptoms, such as wheezing, cough and shortness of breath. Additionally nasal breathing reduces mouth breathing which can cause dehydration, dryness in the mouth and increased dental caries.
The various embodiments and applications of this invention are not limited to particular devices and/or methods of nasal dilation, which can vary and are understood by skilled artisans based on the disclosure provided herein. It is also understood that all terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting in any manner or scope. For example, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an” and “the” can include plural references unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Further, all units, prefixes, and symbols may be denoted in their SI accepted form. Numeric ranges recited within the specification are inclusive of the numbers defining the range and include each integer within the defined range.
Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the embodiments of the applied invention pertain. Many methods and materials similar, modified, or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the disclosed applications of the devices and/or practice of the embodiments of the present invention without undue experimentation; the preferred materials and methods are described herein. In describing and claiming the embodiments of the present invention applications, the headings provided are not limitations on the embodiments of the invention and the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below.
The methods, systems, and devices/apparatuses of the present invention may comprise, consist essentially of, or consist of the components of the present invention as well as other components or functional equivalents described herein. As used herein, “consisting essentially of” means that the methods, systems, and devices/apparatuses may include additional steps and/or components, but only if the additional steps and/or components do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed methods, systems, and devices/apparatuses.
It should also be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the term “configured” describes a system, apparatus, or other structure that is constructed or configured to perform a particular task or adopt a particular configuration. The term “configured” can be used interchangeably with other similar phrases such as arranged and configured, constructed and arranged, adapted and configured, adapted, constructed, manufactured and arranged, and the like. It is also noteworthy that the terms goggles and eyewear maybe used interchangeably in these specifications.Applications of Nasal Dilator Devices
Nasal Dilating Device(s) Applications for Goggles Alone or for a Combination of Goggles with a Helmet.
The device for goggles 1 and for the combination of goggles attached to a helmet 6, shown in
Besides opening the nasal passages, an additional benefit from adding the mound 7 is that it spreads the cushion liner 5 laterally, which in turn reduces focalized pressure (commonly referred to as ‘nose squeeze’) of the cushion at the interface with the user's nose and/or face. This then improves user comfort and at the same time provides an equivalent or possibly a more evenly distributed and wider seal of the cushion liner 5 onto the user's face. In addition by doing that it improves cushion barrier adhesion around the user's face, thereby minimizing detrimental environmental influences from contacting the user's face and/or eyes, such as dirt, dust, snow, rain, and cold or hot air etc. This feature allows the user clearer vision for sporting activity, such as for motocross, where mud and dirt can accumulate inside the goggles and for snow related sports in which fogging of glasses can occur when snow and cold air cause water condensation inside goggles.
The shaped mound 7 as shown in
The shape and size of the mound 7 can be configured to be any functional shape, such as rectangular but not limited to that shape and have variable heights (i.e. distance from apex 8 to bottom edge of mound). In an aspect the height can vary but not be limited between 1/10 (0.1) inch to 1.0 inch. The ideal width of the mound 7 should be adequate to be covered by the width of most head retainer strap(s) 4, but the width of the mound 7 can be larger or smaller than the width of a head retainer strap 4. The mound 7 can be made of any suitable material with a durometer capable of maintaining the mounding effect to open the nasal passages.
There may be circumstances when a special height of the apex of the mound 8 may be required to achieve the functional effect to open nasal passages. One embodiment (not shown) would have add-on convex shaped plates like the mound 7 shown in
An apex add-on segment 16,
In yet another method of achieving nasal dilating effect, helmet 6 manufacturers can integrate a permanent mound on each side of the helmet to allow the head retainer strap 4 to stretch laterally over the mound to achieve the nasal dilator effect per the Cottle effect. The exterior surface of the mound can have a trough along its length to hold the head retainer strap onto the mound. Additionally, the helmet could have lips with overhangs along the longitudinal length of the mound to retain the head retainer strap 4 from moving off the mound(s).
In addition a dome shaped mound 7 could be a reversible or irreversible insert added to a helmet by an attaching means on the sides of the helmet. The attaching means can be any functional means known to those familiar with the art. An example of an attachment means integrated into the sides of the helmet, seen in
Additionally manufacturers can add a means to move the mound anteriorly and posteriorly on the sides of the helmet or in any other functional direction while contacting the inside of the goggles head retainer strap 4 to obtain the best effect for opening the nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules. For example (not shown) but not limited as such, two parallel rails can be added to each side of the helmet. The rails would have stops such as elevations in the rails that can be forcibly overridden. The mound would have grooves or other means to attach and ride on the rails and can be moved to any one of the designated stops. The mounds could be reversibly or irreversibly added or removed from the helmet.
Additionally as a different embodiment (not shown) it is possible to add mound(s) at strategic locations to the inside of a helmet which would apply stretch forces onto the user's face and could then pull the facial skin with its underlying anatomical attachments to open the nasal valves and/or vestibules.
Goggle manufacturers can also add an insert with mounds into the goggles to fit reversibly or irreversibly around or in proximity to the user's nose that will enhance nasal passage patency. In one aspect, soft and/or slightly compressible mounds can be added on the inside of the head retainer strap 4 at any propitious location to effect nasal dilation such as contacting the side of the user's head, or near the junction of the head retainer strap 4 with the housing 2 of the goggles 1. The mounds can be placed also on the cushion liner 5 and/or housing 2 of the goggles, such as near the nasal-facial junction or other locations on the user's cheek to obtain nasal dilation function pursuant to the goals of the present invention. Head retainer straps of some commercially available goggles may have loop Velcro on the inside of the head retainer straps 4, such that a soft mound with hook Velcro can attach onto the inside of the head retainer straps 4. According to this nasal dilator accessory embodiment, the soft mounds can be of different heights and shapes depending on the user's facial configuration in order to open the nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules, and they can be made of different materials such as thermoplastics, non-latex rubber, neoprene, polyurethane, textiles, silicone and other similar soft materials, each of which are non-limiting embodiments of the invention. As mentioned, the mound(s) can be manufactured with integration into the goggles head retainer strap 4 or be made to strap around the head retainer strap 4 and/or have a slot means through which to slide the mound onto the head retainer strap 4. Mound additions to goggles for nasal dilation can be used for many activities, such as for skiing, snow-boarding, snowmobiling, contact sports and tactical military uses.
In another embodiment of adding a mound to the goggle head retainer strap, manufacturers could utilize a bladder (not shown) capable of filling up with air or liquid or other suitable filling material added to an opening in the bladder that can be closed off, or be pumped in through a valve. As air or liquid or suitable filling material is introduced into the bladder it could balloon up to a shape similar to mound 7, but could also be any functional shape to create a mound 7 effect, and could have straps 11 and 13 on each side for attaching to the goggle head retainer strap 4. The apex height and sloping ends would increase depending on the amount of air, liquid or other suitable filling material introduced into the bladder. A pouch or pocket could be created on the goggle head retainer strap 4 to position the bladder type of mound 7. In addition the bladder can be manufactured so that it is integrated into the head retainer strap.
Goggle manufacturers could also add ledge extensions to the lateral sides of the housing 2 for attachment of the head retainer strap 4. This would cause more stretch of the head retainer strap 4 laterally on the user's head and thereby create lateral stretch forces that are transmitted onto the cushion liner 5 to improve nasal patency. In this embodiment no mound is needed but the goggles with the ledges still have the same functionality as other described iterations of the invention described herein. They are reusable, re-adjustable and re-locatable and have the varying tightening means of the head retainer strap 4, so that when activated, cause lateralizing and other vectored forces to be transmitted onto the cushion liner 5 and thereby onto the user's face and skin. This then accomplishes the Cottle effect to open the nasal valves. However this embodiment adds a risk of head injury to a rapidly moving user if a tree limb or other foreign object gets entrapped into the space created posterior to the ledge extension between the sides of the user's head and the head retainer strap 4. As such a filler of any soft, semi-rigid or rigid material would need to be integrated or attached as an accessory to the posterior side of the ledge extension(s) and then slope down distally to fill the gap between the head retainer strap 4 and the anterior part of the helmet. If the goggles were used by themselves without a helmet, the filler would need to be made of a softer material as it would approximate the user's head.
In another aspect, some protective goggles (also known as eyewear) 21 used mostly for contact sports but occasionally for non-contact sports,
As described herein, the components of goggles alone or a combination of goggles with a helmet, including a mound(s) 7 added to either goggles or a helmet, have all Essential Elements according to the invention for a nasal dilator device, including: (1) a rigid or semi-rigid housing 2 with a bridge 3 providing means for maintaining adjusted forces for nasal dilation for either or both sides of user's nose; (2) the bridge 3 as part of the housing, located above and/or over the nose to distribute nasal dilating forces to either or both sides of a user's nose and/or face; (3) mounds 7; (4) a holding means for mounds 7 on goggles head retainer strap using mound straps 11, 13 and the inward pressure of goggles head retainer strap 4 holding mound 7 onto helmet 6 or head of a user to maintain positioning of mounds; (5) means for attachment of tightening means, i.e. goggle head retainer strap 4 attached to housing 2; (6) capability of changing and varying tightening means, i.e. goggle head retainer straps 4, onto mounds 7 to open nasal passages i.e. nasal valves and/or nasal vestibule; (7) ability to adjust, and/or relocate mound(s) 7 to same or different location(s) in relation to user's nose, face and/or head as needed to improve nasal patency and/or patient comfort; and (8) reusability.
Although the nasal dilator is the primary function for this application, it also provides an additional advantage by spreading the cushion liner 5 laterally, reducing focalized pressure around the user's eyes and nose and thereby improve user comfort while wearing goggles, and improve cushion barrier adherence onto and around user's face against entry of detrimental environmental influences, such as dirt, snow, rain, cold air and the like. As referred to herein throughout the application, detrimental environmental influences are intended to be blocked or sealed away from at least a portion of the user's eyes, nose and/or face.
Nasal Dilating Device Application for Swim Goggles with or Without a Swim Cap.
Swim goggles 30 have structure similar to goggles 1 used for winter and dirt biking activities.
Swim goggles basic function is to protect the swimmer's eyes from water irritation by preventing leakage of water into the goggles. In addition ideally swimmers can improve their capability and endurance by breathing effectively through their nose. Nevertheless some swimmers cannot effectively do that because they have faulty nasal valves or other confounding internal nasal anatomy to preclude normal patency of the nasal passages. The selective addition of mounds 36 to this application improve opening of nasal passages so that the user can more easily breathe through their nasal passages. Mound(s) 36 can be added by slipping into and/or onto the swim goggle straps 33 located on the sides of the user's head or at any location on the swim goggle straps 33 that are attached to the housing 31, such as close to the rims or along the lateral or posterior aspects of the swimmer's head. Mounds 36 can be any shape that provide an increased apical lateral height when attached to swim goggle straps which in turn stretch the goggle straps in a lateral vector. Mounds 36 can be dome or torpedo-like shape to reduce water resistance and a flat side 28 to approximate user's head comfortably and improve stabilization of the mound 36 when placed onto the user's head,
Mounds 36 can also be concentric or eccentric shaped with transitional radius widths that enclose a channel 39,
The mounds 36 increase the moments of forces vectored mostly laterally and posteriorly but also superiorly and inferiorly onto the cushion liner 35, around the user's eyes, nose and face and thereby onto the underlying skin and anatomical attachments to open the nasal valves/vestibule. Most of the vectored pull with the mounds occur above and below the lateral canthi of the eyes. The rigid or semi-rigid housing 31 with a bridge 32 provides means for maintaining adjusted forces for nasal dilation to either or both sides of user's nose. The lateralizing forces of the mound 36 also cause the cushion liner 35 to spread laterally and by doing so, reduce the medial and posterior pressure around the user's eyes, called eye squeeze as well as nose squeeze, and at the same time maintain or improve the water seal of the cushion liner around the swimmer's face. Changing the tightening of swim goggle head retainer straps 33 is often time consuming and frustrating so that addition of mound 36 may obviate the need to adjust the tightening of swim goggle head retainer straps 33, particularly if adjustment is needed because of water leakage into the user's eyes. An advantage of the eccentric mound 36 described above with a channel 39,
The potentially preferred embodiment of the mound 36 added to goggle head retainer straps 33 is shown in
Another embodiment seen in
In yet another embodiment, as shown in
As described herein, the components of swim goggles used alone or in combination with a swim cap, both including mound(s) 36, have all Essential Elements according to the invention for this application of a nasal dilator device, including: (1) a semi-rigid or rigid housing 31 with a bridge 32 providing means for maintaining adjusted forces for nasal dilation for either or both sides of user's nose; (2) the bridge 32, that is part of the housing, located above and/or above the nose to distribute nasal dilating forces to either or both sides of a user's nose and/or face; (3) mound 36 located on swim goggle head retainer straps 33 or with a swim cap 24; (4) holding means for mound 36 attached to swim goggle head retainer straps 33 and holding means created by interfacing of mound 36 with user's face and/or head; (5) means for attachment of tightening means, i.e. swim goggle head retainer straps 33 to housing 31; (6) capability of changing and varying tightening means such as swim goggle head retainer straps 33, onto mounds 36 to open nasal passages i.e. nasal valves and/or nasal vestibule and/or rotation of eccentric mound 36 to change radius of mound between user's head and mound 36; (7) ability to adjust, and/or relocate mound 36 to same or different location(s) in relation to user's nose, and/or face and/or head as needed to improve nasal opening; and (8) reusability.
Although the nasal dilator is the primary function for the swim goggles application, it also provides additional advantages by creating increased moments of forces onto the cushion liner 35, which: (1) spreads cushion liner 35 laterally to improve adherence of cushion liner 35 with user's face and thereby reduce leakage between the cushion liner 35 and the swimmer's eyes and face; and (2) spreads cushion liner 35 laterally thereby reducing the pressure or squeeze around the user's eyes and/or nose.
Nasal Dilating Device Application for a Hybrid Mask Used for Sleep and/or Exercise Comprised of Rigid and/or Semi-Rigid Housing and Stretchable and/or Non-Stretchable Material.
In another aspect, the nasal dilator devices used to open nasal valves and/or vestibules are referred to in this application as a hybrid sleep mask but it can also be used for exercise activities. It is comprised of a rigid and/or semi-rigid housing with stretchable or non-stretchable mask material 62, as depicted in
The arch of the bridge 61 and the extensions 65 of the bridge can be made so they can be adjusted regarding the width of the arch of bridge 63 or the length of the extension(s) 65 respectively. Although not shown, these embodiments could require complementary parts with means for their attachment, such as holes in one complementary part of an arch or extension and protrusions in the other complementary part of the arch or extension(s). This would then allow the complementary parts for the arch from opposite sides to connect by inserting the protrusions into the holes for optimal arch width. Each extension would have two complementary parts, one with holes and the other with protrusions, such that when the optimal length of the extensions are determined, then the protrusions would be inserted into the holes. The complementary parts would be designed and made of semi-rigid or rigid materials to permit reversibility of the attaching means involving the protrusions into holes, thereby permitting optimal dimensions for each user's facial configuration.
In one embodiment there is a pocket 77 formed in the stretchable or non-stretchable material 62 to allow the foot pad 66 to be inserted and enclosed in the pocket 77. The stretchable or non-stretchable component 62 comprise pocket straps 78,
The textile component 62 is comprised of a lower posterior component 69,
In summary, the hybrid sleep mask 60 when worn is first adjusted for optimal vertical extension by attaching components 69 and 70 using Velcro or other attaching means, such as snaps, etc. Then upper 71 and lower straps 72 are pulled into optimal positions for user comfort and optimal nasal passage dilation. The mounds 68 contact both sides of the user's face such as the cheeks and/or around the user's nose. When the hybrid sleep mask is worn with tightening means provided by straps 71 and 71, various vectored forces, including the lateral vector of the Cottle effect, are applied onto the mounds 68 and thereby onto the underlying skin and fascia attachments to the nasal valves and/or vestibules, which in turn open the nasal valves and/or vestibules. The bridge should ideally not compress the user's nose if properly adjusted.
In an aspect, additional mounds may be added to position the mask on optimal locations to open the nasal passages when worn on a user's face. This embodiment made of soft stretchable or other soft non-stretchable materials may be used for sleep to minimize nasal airway collapse when a user lies in a supine or side position. An accessory chin support 76,
In an aspect, hybrid sleep and/or exercise mask 80 with a nasal dilator device can be in the form of another embodiment.
The ballooning expanse and shape of the bridge 82 can be any geometry that minimizes contact and compression onto the user's nose when the housing is applied to the face of a user. The extensions 88 on both sides of the housing 81 include foot pads 84 which can be angled at any angle such as ninety degrees from the extensions, although the angle can be more acute or more oblique, including for example having angles from the extensions at approximately one hundred and eighty degrees or less or more, depending on preference for user comfort and device functionality to open nasal valves.
In an aspect,
The posterior surface of the mounds that contact the user's skin can have grooves that function to drain away sweat that may accumulate under the mounds during physical exercise. These and other modifications of the shape and size of the mounds are included within the scope of the invention disclosed herein. Additionally, mounds can be any functional shape such as dome-convex shape with the apex approximating the contact point on the user's face or a cylindrical shape 87 shown in
Additional mounds can also be placed on the underside of the bridge 82 of the housing 81 for several indications. A mound added to underside of bridge 82 can hold tip of a user's nose if it is prolapsed and impairing nasal patency. The skin overlying the nose can be pulled taut superiorly and slightly posteriorly under the mound positioned on the underside of bridge 82 of housing. The tip of the user's nose is thereby pulled away from the upper lip to improve nasal patency.
As disclosed herein, the housing 81 takes advantage of moments of forces provided by the increased height of mounds 87, such that when tightening means of head retainer straps 83 are pulled laterally, there are increased forces(s) applied directly onto the mounds and underlying skin with anatomical attachments to the nasal valves and/or vestibules, thereby opening and improving patency of the nasal valves and/or vestibules. Other mounds can also be added to the housing in combination with the nasal-facial junction located mounds. The rigid or semi-rigid housing 81 with a bridge 82 provides means for maintaining adjusted forces for nasal dilation for either or both sides of user's nose
The rigid and/or semi-rigid housing 81 can include a second lower bridge 89, as shown in
As described herein, the components of these hybrid mask devices described herein for sleep and/or exercise with inclusion of a mound 68, 87 have all Essential Elements according to the invention of a nasal dilator device, including: (1) a rigid or semi-rigid housing 61, 81 with a bridge 63, 82 respectively; (2) the bridges 63, 82 as part of the housing located at any single or combination of locations over, above or below the user's nose to distribute nasal dilating forces to either or both sides of the user's nose and/or face; (3) mounds 68, 87; (4) a holding means for mound 68 created by pocket 77 that contains foot pad 66 onto which mound is formed on posterior side of pocket, with or without addition of a soft mound that has direct contact with user's face and holding means of mound 87 onto foot pads 84; (5) a means for attachment of tightening means by attaching head retainer straps 71, 72 to housing 61 and attachment of tightening means of head retainer straps 83 to housing 81; (6) varying tightening means of head retainer straps 71, 72 onto mound(s) 68 and varying tightening means by head retainer straps 83 onto mound 87, thereby onto underlying skin and anatomical attachments to enhance nasal valve and/or vestibule opening; (7) ability to adjust, and/or relocate mound(s) 68, 87 to same or different location(s) in relation to user's nose and/or face and/or head as needed to improve nasal patency and/or patient comfort; and (8) reusability.Nasal Dilating Devices for CPAP Mask Application
In another application, mounds 41 can be added onto a nasal CPAP 40,
There are variants of nasal CPAP devices which have prongs or pillows (not shown), that are inserted into the nasal cavities, and do not surround above or over the user's nose. However they have a semi-rigid or rigid housing that positions these atypical CPAP nasal mask(s) below the user's nose to allow means for distribution of tightening forces to both sides of the user's nose and other facial features. Hence as will be understood, they have all the Essential Elements needed for the nasal dilating device to function.
In an aspect as shown in
Once the CPAP mask is placed on the user's head with attached head retainer straps 46, then the mound 41 can be placed under head retainer straps 46 to contact user's face and moved laterally or medially to obtain the optimal skin pull to open the user's nasal valves and/or vestibules. Tightening the head retainer strap 46 onto mound 41 can cause the mound 41 to rotate to create more lateralizing and other functional vectored pull on the underlying skin and anatomical attachments to the nose, which enhance opening the nasal valves and/or nasal vestibules. The rotation may be clockwise or counter clockwise to accomplish opening of the nasal valves and/or vestibules. It is understood that the mounds 41 can be reversibly and/or irreversibly integrated in the manufacture of the nasal and/or full face CPAP masks, such as in the head retainer straps 46 or be an accessory as described in
In addition mounds 41 placed at strategic locations along CPAP head retainer straps 46 for full face CPAP masks and nasal CPAP masks 40, can have other beneficial effects besides nasal passage opening. For one, stretching forces created by forces applied to the mounds by tightening of the head retainer straps 46 enhance approximation and better seal of the CPAP cushion liner 44 onto the user's face and thereby reduce air leaks between the interface of the CPAP mask and user's skin. This is especially helpful to improve approximation and seal of the lower end of the cushion liner of a full face CPAP to the anterior mandible of a user, and as such minimize opening of user's mouth which can cause movement of the lower end of cushion liner 44 up into the user's mouth and thereby interrupt the pressure seal for CPAP. In addition mounds 41 placed over the rami of the mandible and the maxillary bones serve to hold them together and thereby cause some restriction to opening the user's mouth, especially if placed closer to the temporal-mandibular joint. Location over the user's cheeks can also control puffing-out of cheeks from buildup of air pressure within the respiratory tract that can occur abruptly while asleep and cause awakening of the user.
Mounds 41 in summary: (1) serve to open nasal valves in combination with the tightening means of the CPAP head retainer straps, which in turn can reduce the tendency for CPAP mask users to switch to mouth breathing; (2) control or minimize puffing-out of cheeks and (3) reduce air leaks from the CPAP mask interface with the user's face by increasing moments of forces that tighten the cushions of the masks against the user's face.
In addition a stretchable or non-stretchable chin strap (not shown) can be positioned under and/or around the user's chin. The chin strap can have end-straps with Velcro attaching means that can loop around the CPAP head retainer straps 46 and then attach back onto the underside of the chin strap with complementary Velcro. The chin strap can be positioned between the mounds 41 to maintain their positioning if needed, and it can serve to keep the jaw of user from relaxing and opening which can cause movement of the lower end of cushion liner up into the user's mouth and thereby interrupt the pressure seal for CPAP.
The components of a CPAP mask application including the addition of mound(s) 41 have all the Essential Elements according to the invention for functioning of a nasal dilating device, including: (1) A rigid or semi-rigid housing 42 with a bridge providing means for maintaining adjusted forces for nasal dilation for either or both sides of user's nose; (2) the bridge as part of the housing 42 located above, over and below the nose for a nasal CPAP mask and for a full face CPAP mask with the bridge as part of the housing 42 is located over, above, below the nose and over the mouth, both distributing nasal dilating forces to both sides of a user's nose and/or face; (3) mound(s) 41; (4) holding means for mounds 41 under CPAP head retainer straps 46 and/or with mound straps 47 around CPAP head retainer straps 46 to maintain mound 41 positioning; (5) means for attaching tightening means comprised of head retainer straps 46 to housing 42; (6) tightening means of head retainer straps 46 with capability of varying forces onto mound(s) 41 and thereby onto the underlying skin and anatomical attachments to open nasal valves and/or vestibules; (7) ability to adjust, and/or relocate mound(s) 41 to same or different location(s) in relation to user's nose and/or face and/or head as needed to improve nasal patency and/or patient comfort; and (8) reusability.
Summation of Applications with Nasal Dilator Device
In each of the various nasal dilator devices for each named application, the housings and/or stretchable/or non-stretchable components and mounds may be made of various materials. For example, in an embodiment the housings may be made of various materials, preferably plastic materials and one may envision various aesthetic modifications which may be employed, including use of translucent materials, colors, patterns, etc. Similarly, the stretchable or non-stretchable components of embodiments of the invention may further be provided in various colors, patterns, etc. for purposes of aesthetics. The mounds can be comprised of softer materials such as elastomeric composition, polyurethane or other similar plastics and textiles.
In each of the various nasal dilator devices for each named application, the holding means may be achieved or provided through multiple mechanisms for maintaining or holding in place the mound(s) of the nasal dilator devices in order to maintain their positioning. In the various embodiments the holding means provides friction or pressure to maintain positioning of the mound(s). Exemplary holding means include inward pressure of a head retainer strap onto mound(s), the interface between mound(s) and a helmet or sides of the user's head, projections on mound(s) for providing contacting, friction, interlocking or the like with a retainer strap, helmet or the like.
An advantage of this invention is now apparent as it provides the necessary means to accomplish its proposed goals, namely opening nasal external and/or internal valves and/or vestibules and controlling nasal tip prolapse. It utilizes lateral and/or other vectored forces that can be maintained during sleep with a hybrid mask or with a CPAP mask, for exercise with a hybrid mask, for goggles alone or with a helmet, and for swim goggles alone or with a swim cap. The nasal dilating devices with applications can be adjusted for comfort and for optimization of nasal valve patency. They are customizable, inexpensive to reproduce and manufacture, washable, adjustable and reusable.
The various applications of the nasal dilating device according to the invention are suitable for use and wear during periods of activity and during sleep to improve and/or maintain nasal patency of the nasal valves and thereby enhance nasal airflow and breathing. Periods of use include for example, wearing the devices during exercise to optimize nasal breathing, such as for aerobic activity involving runners, dirt motor bikers, military users wearing tactical goggles and helmets, skiers, snow-boarders, swimmers and for snowmobile activity. Beneficially, the various nasal dilating device applications provide comfort for the user both during sleep and/or during physical activities
Beneficially, the methods of use open the user's nasal valves, and can further be adjusted, removed, reused and/or retained on the user without easily falling off during sleep or during physical activity and exercise. As a still further benefit, the methods of use may further employ customizing with alterations of dimensions, shape, and/or material composition, so that users with different facial and head shapes and/or nasal dimensions can wear the nasal dilating device applications and still accomplish the same function to open the nasal valves.
In another aspect of the methods of use, the nasal dilator devices can be integrated into applications using goggles, a helmet, CPAP mask, and swim goggles alone or with swim caps, or it can be added as an accessory with these applications.
In a further aspect of the uses according to the invention, by improving nasal breathing, nasal dilating device applications aid in warming and humidifying cool air as it is breathed through the nose into the lungs, reducing dry mouth, filtering air through the nose, reducing tendency for dental caries, and cold induced and exercise induced bronchospasm.
1. A reusable, re-adjustable, and re-locatable air leak reducing device or nasal dilator device for a CPAP mask comprising:
- a rigid or semi-rigid housing with an integrated bridge connected thereto said housing located at any single or combination of locations over, above and below a user's nose, mouth, or any combination thereof;
- a cushion liner that interfaces said housing of the mask with said user's face,
- head retainer strap connected to said housing;
- mounds positioned by holding means on both sides of the user's face at a location extending lateral to the user's nose at any location of the user's face to apply lateralizing and stretching forces to enhance approximation and improve seal of said CPAP mask cushion liner with the user's face, wherein said holding means for said mounds support said mounds in place to apply lateralizing and stretching forces;
- varying tightening means attached to said housing providing said lateralizing and stretching forces onto said mounds, wherein when said tightening means is said strap and is adjustable to provide said lateralizing and stretching forces implemented onto said mounds, thereby transmitting said lateralizing and stretching forces onto said mounds to improve approximation for seal of said cushion liner with said user's face or to improve nasal patency of said user, and
- wherein said housing and said bridge provide means for said forces to maintain said reduction in air leaks between the interface of said CPAP cushion with the user's face or to improve nasal patency to either or both sides of said user's nose.
2. The device of claim 1 further comprising a nasal or full face CPAP mask, wherein said nasal CPAP mask surrounds the nose or is positioned below the nose, and said full face CPAP mask is located over, above, or below a user's nose and/or mouth, or any combinations thereof.
4. The device of claim 1 comprising said CPAP mask, wherein said head retainer strap attached to said housing provides said holding means for said mound(s) and also provides varying tightening means onto said mound(s) when said mound(s) are positioned and held between said head retainer straps and user's face.
5. The device of claim 4 with said holding means and said tightening means for said mounds, wherein said mounds located on said head retainer straps can be moved medially or laterally to contact user's face to enhance approximation and better seal of said CPAP cushion liner onto the user's face and thereby reduce air leaks between said cushion liner with user's face or to open nasal airways of a user.
8. The device of claim 5 comprising said CPAP mask, wherein said mounds provide height to stretch said head retainer strap and thereby create forces onto said cushion liner to enhance approximation and better seal of said CPAP cushion liner onto the user's face and thereby reduce air leaks between said cushion liner with user's face or to open nasal airways of a user.
9. The device of claim 1 wherein said mounds are an accessory added onto said CPAP head strap with an attaching means and wherein said mounds can be retained in place with said attaching means and by holding means of said CPAP head strap.
10. The device of claim 9 wherein said attaching means is provided by strap of said mounds with means to attach around said CPAP head strap or by sliding said head retainer strap inside slots of said mounds.
13. The device of claim 18 wherein said mound for said sleep or exercise mask can be an accessory or integrated into the manufacture of said sleep or exercise mask.
14. The device of claim 18 comprising said hybrid sleep or exercise mask, wherein said head retainer straps provide said holding means for said mound, and further provide varying tightening means forces onto said mound to enhance and maintain nasal passage patency.
15. The device of claim 14 further comprising a chin strap or chin cup accessory to reduce mouth opening and thereby improve nasal breathing with reduced oral-pharyngeal vibrations.
16. The device of claim 18 comprising said sleep or exercise mask, wherein said head retainer straps comprise a semi-rigid or rigid housing that can be altered in shape or size to configure to a user's size and shape of head, face or nose size, and wherein said bridge of said housing can be elevated from said user's face by increasing thickness of said mound to prevent said bridge from contacting said user's nose.
17. The device of claim 1 wherein said mounds can be compressible and be any shape.
18. A reusable, re-adjustable and re-locatable sleep or exercise nasal dilator device worn on the head and face of a user comprising:
- a rigid or semi-rigid housing with an integrated bridge connected thereto said housing located at any single or combination of locations over, above, or below the user's nose;
- mounds positioned by a means of holding on both sides of the user's face at a location extending lateral to the user's nose to apply lateralizing forces to pull the user's skin to open nasal passages, wherein the means of holding for said mounds support said mounds in place to apply lateralizing forces;
- varying tightening means attached to said housing providing said lateralizing forces onto said mounds, wherein said tightening means forces are adjustable to provide said lateralizing forces onto said underlying skin of said user to open the user's nasal passages to improve nasal patency of said user, and wherein said housing and said bridge provide means for said forces to maintain said nasal patency to either or both sides of said user's nose.
19. A method of using a reusable, adjustable, and re-locatable CPAP device to reduce air leaks or to dilate nasal passages in claim 1, or using a reusable, adjustable, and re-locatable device to dilate nasal passages for sleep or exercise in claim 18, comprising:
- providing the devices of claims 1 and 18 to a user in need thereof;
- attaching said CPAP mask onto the nose, face, or head of said user for air leak reduction or nasal dilation, or attaching said sleep or exercise mask onto nose, face, or head of said user for nasal dilation;
- stretching skin of said user by varying tightening means of said devices which applies lateralizing forces onto said mound(s) to open nasal passages to improve air flow with said CPAP device and with said sleep or exercise devices;
- applying increased stretching forces to reduce air leaks for said CPAP mask;
- re-locating and adjusting said CPAP device and said sleep or exercise devices; and
- re-using said CPAP device and said sleep or exercise devices.
20. The method of claim 19 further comprising the addition of a chin strap or chin cup to said CPAP device to reduce jaw relaxation and opening.
21. The device of claim 1 wherein said mounds can integrate reversibly or irreversibly in the manufacture of said nasal or full face mask.
22. The device of claim 1 wherein said mounds can be integrated reversibly or irreversibly located on the outside or inside of said nasal or full face mask, said mounds with increased height to enhance moments of forces by said tightening means applied to said mounds.
23. The device of claim 18 wherein the width of said bridge or length of said bridge are adjustable to change either or both dimensions to permit optimal fit for user's facial configuration.
24. The device in claim 1 further comprising a chin strap or chin cup to reduce mouth opening when wearing said CPAP mask.
25. The device in claim 2 wherein said lateralizing and stretching forces applied onto said mounds of said full face CPAP mask minimize opening of user's mouth that cause lower end of cushion liner to reposition into user's mouth.
Filed: Jul 14, 2015
Publication Date: Nov 5, 2015
Inventors: Alan Wanderer (Bozeman, MT), Ewan R. Grantham (Castle Rock, CO), David Yakos (Bozeman, MT), Seth Carlstrom (Bozeman, MT), Ross Walker (Belgrade, MT), Rebecca K. Berg (Bozeman, MT)
Application Number: 14/799,252