Why do we wear eye protection?

I don’t need to tell you that sight is a precious gift that we tend to take for granted!


 Approximately 20% of serious eye injuries are preventable.  This means that if a person was wearing eye protection for example, sunglasses, safety glasses, safety goggles or a full face shield, the accident may have been prevented.


Every time you perform your daily tasks, work, cleaning, DIY or sport., you need to ask yourself if you are willing to risk your vision.  For example, by choosing not to wear sunglasses, you are exposing yourself and eyes to sunlight.  Ultraviolet (UV) light has been shown in numerous studies to be linked to Cataracts, Macular degeneration and even  Glaucoma.  This is  a  guaranteed trifecta for not being able to see clearly. Cataract surgery tends to have  really good results, but  Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma are a bit trickier and may cause lasting problems with sight.  These conditions can be very debilitating.


As for safety glasses and goggles, some worksites make them compulsory.  If your work has indicated that you ‘have’ to wear eye protection, then I would recommend that you follow their advice.  If you are unhappy with the comfort or clarity through the safety glasses provided,  there are so many more options out there.

 If it means paying a little out of your own pocket to have a pair of safety glasses that you can wear comfortably all day, they I would recommend that you consider that option. 


Alternatively, if your work doesn’t have any guidelines regarding PPE, you might wish to ask why.  Or make a decision to look after yourself.  We are constantly exposing our eyes to the possibility of damage, which can be long lasting.  Playing sport, in particular ball sports, your eyes are exposed to a significant risk of lasting damage. 


Wouldn’t it be preferable to be able to perform the tasks you need or want to do, without worrying about the risk to your vision? That being said there are so many different types of safety glasses and eye protection available, that it can be quite difficult to make a decision.


I would recommend thinking about what you need to do and the priorities.  For example: Are you working in a dusty environment? In this case a positive seal of safety goggle would be preferable.


Will you be primarily outside? Then you  need to consider having safety sunglasses, with a nice large lens and wrap-around frame to protect the whole eye socket and the skin around the eye.


Playing sport? What type of sport? Does it have a ball?  What size is the ball?  For example soccer has a high rate of significant, preventable eye injuries.  So wearing sports goggles with an elastic strap is a really good idea.

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