For most of us that are not encountering COVID on a daily basis, wearing safety glasses is more than enough protection. But for those of us that do have to work with people in close proximity what can we do to try and keep ourselves safe?
Depending on your role the level of personal protection equipment (PPE) required will change. For example, we have looked after quite a few Intensive Care Unit’s to help keep their staff safe during the pandemic. So, what did they need? Their staff needed positively sealed prescription and standard safety glasses. The prescription safety frames that they selected from include:
The Onguard 220FS (full seal) – these have a seal like a goggle and no venting at all
The Onguard 220S – this one has padding at the top of the frame and a soft bridge. It is also available in loads of different colours and 2 sizes.
The Trifecta – has a removable gasket (with vents) and a detachable adjustable elastic strap.
Blaydz – this has a removable gasket (with vents) and a detachable adjustable elastic strap.
Zion – this is a narrow fitting frame that has a removable gasket (with vents) and a detachable adjustable elastic strap.
A new option is the Pentax frame which is very similar to the OG220S but is only available in one size and 2 different colours. This frame cannot have an anti-fog coating added.
Please note that anti-fog coatings are very helpful in keeping your lenses clear of fog but they do take around 4 weeks to be created.
Now if you are working with airborne pathogens then you will want a full seal. For prescription safety glasses that is the OG220FS. But if you don’t require prescription lenses then you will need safety goggles – there are different options available for these. With different venting options but most will require a sealed unit (which means that it doesn’t have any vents). We would recommend choosing safety goggles that have anti-fog coatings, as there is nothing worse than having your safety glasses fog up when you are trying to see. It is dangerous to have your lenses fog up while you are trying to drive/walk/operate for example as you can’t see, which is debilitating.
If you don’t want to go to the expense of prescription safety glasses but need glasses to see. Then there is always the option for safety over specs. Now some of these are much lighter and more comfortable than others. Such as the new Bolle Tryon OTG style available in clear or grey-tinted lenses. We have noticed that the Safety Over Specs seems to have nearly sold out with Eyres, Bolle, and Uvex and this means that there will be a couple of months with nothing available.
The lack of supply is also being felt already with the clear anti-fog safety glasses. So if you need any of those I would get your order in as soon as you can. Or you could be waiting for months.
Now, which of the positively sealed safety glasses do we recommend? We love the Bolle Rush Plus Seal as it comes with a removable replaceable gasket and an adjustable elastic strap (also removable). These are available in clear or grey-tinted lens options along with a few other special lens coatings. They also have an anti-fog coating – it doesn’t stop them from never fogging up – but it does help them clear quicker.
I have worn this frame in practice with a mask when they upped our Optometry PPE requirements, and it was lightweight and comfortable.