In many professions, protective eye equipment is not only important to wear for safety purposes, but also enforced as a mandatory precaution by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Protective eye equipment can protect against anything from flying wood chips, to harmful radiation. Most varieties of protective eye equipment is available in prescription lens styles in addition to the standard plano style. Learn more about some of the more common varieties of protective eye equipment below.
- Welding Goggles and Masks – Welding goggles are worn by welders to protect the eye from multiple types of damage caused by welding. Welding not only causes intense heat, sparks, and bright light, but also produces a highly potent ultra-violet light that can burn the eye if not viewed through a protective lens. Welding goggles prevent injury from heat and debris through their large size, and prevent welder’s flash (burning of the cornea) via their heavily tinted and polarized lenses.
- Aviation – Ever since the invention of airplanes, pilots have needed specialized optical equipment for various eye problems experienced during flight. While protective goggles or eye equipment isn’t necessary for today’s commercial airliners, open cockpit planes still require eye protection to prevent irritation caused by the constant wind. Military fighter pilots utilize advanced helmet mounted displays to assist in combat and flight. Additional to more advanced eyewear, most pilots need sunglasses, especially when flying in high altitude and looking directly into the sun.
- Safety and Shop Glasses – Every day, thousands of people around the world go to work in hazardous work environments. In any environment where a hard hat is required, safety glasses are also frequently seen, as they can prevent any debris, particulate, or dust from harming one’s eyesight. Standard safety glasses are typically inexpensive, and made from a durable plastic lens that can block debris from saws, drilling, or even falling objects.
- Lab Goggles – Are similar to safety glasses, but typically hug the face, whereas safety glasses simply cover the front of the eyes. Lab goggles are important for preventing any splashed chemicals or liquids from coming into contact with the eyes, which can potentially damage or even blind someone upon exposure. While safety glasses are more common in shops and construction sites, some people prefer goggles in those environments as a means for better overall protection against particles, and a way to keep lingering saw dust from causing irritation.
- Laser Protection – Laser protection glasses protect against diffused or direct exposure from laser light to the eyes. Laser light can cause rapid, and extensive damage to one’s eyesight, and direct exposure must be avoided at all times. While most laser damage can be avoided simply by not looking directly into a laser light, some lasers may cause damage from surface deflections, or accidental exposure. As such, wearing protective glasses will prevent the damage caused by accidental exposure to laser light.
- Sports Goggles – Sports goggles are typically prescription glasses modified into goggles, for the purpose of high intensity athletics, where glasses would otherwise fall off or break. Sport goggles are commonly used for sports like basketball and soccer, where extensive or constant running and jumping are used, and getting hit in the face is a constant risk. Sport goggles correct vision without affecting athletic ability, and won’t break or become damaged through normal wear.