Protecting your eyes means more than simply donning a pair of cool sunglasses on a beautifully sunny day. Every year, over 700,000 Americans suffer from eye injuries due to accidents at work, sporting accidents, or at home accidents. The good news is that these accidents can mostly be prevented with the right measures and equipment.
Don’t let the word equipment scare you. No face mask or crazy gear is required when protecting your eye, but something as simple as a pair of goggles can go a long way. The tough part now is knowing just which pair of protective goggles is right for you? Goggles safe to wear while playing basketball are not the same as what you’re going to want to wear when working on a construction site.
Along with your protective gear, it’s crucial to know what types of danger your eyes are prone to. Fully protecting your eyes involves more than just knowing what kind of protection to use, you need to know what you’re protecting from.
Regular Eyeglasses vs. Protective Goggles
Let’s get right to the point here, eyeglasses are not ever acceptable forms of protective eyewear. First and foremost, they are not built to protect. They’re built to help you see. To wear regular eyeglasses as protective wear is a felony.
Ok, it isn’t a felony, but it could be very dangerous especially in a place of work where protective goggles are required in the business’ safety code. Regular eyeglasses don’t have lenses or frames that can withstand pressure or impact very well. Protective goggles do, and do it very well.
Most Common Dangers
Your eyes are the most sensitive part of your body and arguably the most valuable. To injure an eye (or both) even a little can cause great distress. Limited vision can lead to loss of income or the inability to work, the inability to perform daily tasks like you normally do, or to even enjoy simple things like reading or watching a movie.
Here are the most common eye injuries; be it at home, on the job, or playing a sport:
- Optical radiation (often happens with welding)
Just thinking about any of these being inflicted on your eyes is cringe worthy. But they don’t have to happen to you.
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What to Look For
There are a lot of goggles available for purchase, in a lot of different styles with a lot of different functions. It’s easy to become discouraged and buy the first pair of goggles you see with no regard to any of its features. There are a few key things to keep in mind when buying protective goggles.
If your job requires you to work under conditions where safety goggles are needed, then you may need anywhere from basic impact to high impact rated goggles. The impact rating simply refers to the amount of impact the lenses and the frame of the goggles can absorb.
Depending on the type of work involved, you may need different styles of goggles. You may need direct or indirect vented goggles, where the air can flow directly into the goggles or where the air is redirected by a protector to protect from splash entry. Or perhaps non-vented goggles, which do not let any air flow through the goggles to protect against dust, vapor, mist, and liquid.
As jobs differ from company to company, it’s important to consult the Occupational Safety & Health Association for more tips on how to choose a protective goggle best suited for different positions.
Granted, wearing a pair of safety goggles may not be the coolest thing on the basketball court, but it is essential. Luckily sports goggles have a wider variety of attractive styles to choose from that are just as effective.
The first thing you’re going to want to look for when it comes to sporting goggles is a high impact rating. No matter the sport, high impact is the way to go. Whether it’s a basketball or a badminton shuttlecock, don’t underestimate the force of the impact. For sports that require extensive running, consider buying a band to secure the goggles around your head.
For outdoor sports, tinted with anti-reflective coating goggles may be preferable. Nobody likes to ski down a mountain blind; you want to be safe when skiing or snowboarding. With the right tint on the goggles, you can avoid the glare of the sun bouncing off snow, windows, cars, or anything else that may give glare.
Home protective eyewear is similar to that for sports. Especially for home contractors, high impact rated goggles are recommended. Wrap around and padded styles are available for extra security and comfort. For outdoor work such as mowing or hedge trimming, look for goggles with side shields to prevents bits of dirt or branches from poking your eyes.
If you require a prescription, prescription goggles are also available for purchase. However you will need to get the new prescription form your eye doctor or local optical store.
No matter the activity, your eyes need to be taken care of. We live in a visual world, which makes our sense of sight the most important in earning income, carrying out daily tasks, and doing the things we love most. Remember to not only protect your eyes from the outside, but also the inside. Eye vitamins are important in keeping your eyes healthy and ready for anything.