Eye protection is simply protective equipment designed for the eyes, usually face, to minimize the possibility of trauma, either to the eye or to any part of the face. Common examples of dangers requiring eye protection to be worn include: impact from debris or particles, radiation or light, wind burst, heat or ball or ice used in sport. It is important for children to wear protective eyewear such as goggles when playing outside. Even adults should wear eyewear to shield their eyes from the sun, dust and debris. Children and adults should also be alert to the possibility of an eye injury, which could potentially result in loss of vision.
Various types of eye protection are available to protect the various parts of the eye from damage. Full-face lenses and safety glasses are generally used for sports and extended work commutes. Light lenses, such as dark lenses or tinted lenses, are only worn while driving, fishing and other light-oriented activities. Lenses are generally worn by people who do not spend a great deal of time outdoors or near bright lights, such as traffic on highways or streets.
All types of eye protection are designed to decrease the risk of injury to the eye. Some types are approved for use in various hazardous environments, including the workplace, operating a construction vehicle, aircraft and even riding a bicycle. Hazardous environments include those that expose people to chemicals, heavy machinery and combustible materials. While wearing prescription glasses or corrective lenses for vision correction may prevent serious vision problems, wearing protective eyewear such as goggles, safety glasses or full-face lenses does not completely eliminate all risks. The most effective way to eliminate hazards is to follow safety procedures, use reliable safety equipment and avoid exposure to hazardous environments. In addition, some types of eyewear are better suited for specific activities, such as mountain climbing, skydiving or swimming.
Eyewear such as safety glasses and goggles provide superior protection when compared with conventional sunglasses. Safety glasses have many advantages, including reduced glare, greater field of vision and increased peripheral vision. Unlike traditional sunglasses, goggles and safety glasses are made to fit every face size and are comfortable to wear during all activities. Some types of goggles are equipped with adjustable vents to control airflow and reduce condensation.
It is essential to get eye protection when driving. Driving contributes to more serious eye injuries than walking or standing, as it exposes one’s eyes to increased temperatures and impacts that can permanently damage the corneal tissue. To reduce glare, drivers should wear polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are designed to minimize the amount of reflected light that reaches the driver’s eye and to increase the amount of light that reaches the eye through the same side of the face. Some people with severe astigmatism may benefit from the use of bifocal contact lenses or progressive spectacles, which flip up to provide superior vision at lower strengths. Progressive spectacles, however, do not provide adequate protection against nearsightedness or farsightedness and should not be used by people who drive large trucks or who work in areas with high concentrations of dust, debris or fog.
The use of laser light equipment such as granite, abrasive balls and water-based lasers has increased greatly over the past decade. These devices are designed to remove particles that can impair a driver’s vision. One type of laser light therapy for eye protection uses pulsed laser light, or Lasik, which uses beams of light that are controlled by computer. It can eliminate or reduce the need for bifocals and trifocals. Lasik does require frequent eye exams, but its results have been promising and its cost is reasonable.