Peripheral vision or side vision is used when we navigate our environment.  Peripheral vision allows us to reverse the park without having to turn our head completely, it also allows us to walk around without running into things.

Having a clear peripheral vision can help prevent many accidents from happening, which is incredibly important when related to Workplace Health and Safety.  So what can we do to make sure our glasses have the best peripheral vision possible?

Research into vision when driving understands the importance of the whole visual field not just our central vision, relating to our ability to regulate our situational awareness (Wolfe et. al., 2017).  Situational awareness requires integration across the entire visual field.  Drivers must be able to perceive their operating environment.  Research has shown that with diminished peripheral the likelihood of automobile accident involvement (Ball et. al., 2010).

The easiest answer is to choose a frame that is clear coloured, or transparent.  This will allow you to continue to perform your normal tasks without obscuration of a wide side.  Some examples of Prescription frame options that are available in clear include the Eyres Clearview, Quantum which is a new style, and the PSG NEO.  There are many more options including non-prescription options such as Eyres 702 with a clear frame and clear lenses.

Another option is to choose a frame that has a narrow side and large lenses such as the Eyres 950Rx semi-rimless, this frame has huge prescription lenses that wrap around and a narrow black temple that fits the frame onto your head.

Situations that peripheral vision is critical include driving, cycling, mountain biking, working in a COVID Area, operating theatre, and operating machinery to name just a few.  Being able to see movement to your side can prevent you from running into someone which is particularly important in areas where infection exists.  As we all understand the difficulty to get kitted out in full PPE for such areas and then having to repeat the whole situation as you have run into someone.

Having clear peripheral vision not only can prevent accidents and injuries from occurring, but it can also save time as people are more sure of their vision and surroundings.  Which can also translate into fewer mistakes.

The take-home message is that you really need to consider how important having clear side-vision is to you and consider will the frame that you have chosen be the best option for you?

Ball et al., K. Ball, J. D. Edwards, L.A. Ross, G. McGwin

Cognitive training decreases motor vehicle collision involvement of older drivers

J. Am. Geriatrics Soc., (11) (2010), pp. 2107-2113

Wolfe et. al., Wolfe B., Dobres J., Rosenholtz R., Reimer B.,

Applied Ergonomics

Science Direct (65) (2017) pp. 316-325