October is Eye Injury Prevention month. As you tackle fall yard work and prepare your home for winter, remember that wearing eye protection is one of the most important ways to protect your vision. About 90 percent of eye injuries could have been avoided with proper eye protection.
When should I wear safety goggles or safety glasses?
You should wear eye protection:
- At home – For yard work, construction, repairs or working with anything that could damage your eyes, from bleach and other cleaners to hot cooking oil. Wear eye protection when you trim trees and shrubs, mow the lawn or use bungee cords.
- At work – To protect from dust, debris, flying objects or bright lights, such as industrial lights or welding torches.
- At play – For sports and activities from Alpine skiing to paintball. The riskiest sports for your eyes include fishing, baseball, basketball and racquet sports. Talk to your eye doctor, trainer or coach about eye protection for your sport.
Which safety goggles do I need?
Every home should have at least one pair of safety glasses or goggles approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You can buy these at hardware stores and online. Most are very reasonably priced, and many safety goggles can be worn over regular glasses. If children or other family members help around the house and yard, invest in extra pairs, including kids’ safety goggles. The opticians at The Sight Shop can advise you on the right fit.
Safety goggles are different from safety glasses. They are stronger and provide more protection from impact, particles, chemical splashes and light. Ask your supervisor or human resources office what eye protection to use. For example, if your job includes welding, you need eye protection against very bright light that can harm your eyes, plus a helmet and face shield.
If you play baseball, ice hockey or men’s lacrosse, you need a helmet with a polycarbonate face shield or wire mask. Learn more about standards for sports eye protection. If your child plays sports, talk to the coach about eye protection. The opticians at The Sight Shop can give advice on proper eye protection for sports and other activities and help you choose eyewear that fits under protective gear.
Do regular eyeglasses provide eye protection?
No. Even polycarbonate lenses can’t protect your eyes from a hard hit by a baseball or racquetball. Flying nails or branches can knock off regular eyeglasses or break the lenses. Exposure to bright light can damage your eyes even if you are wearing glasses or contacts.
What if I get an eye injury?
See a doctor immediately if you have an eye injury, even if you don’t think it is serious. Even injuries that seem minor can damage your eyes permanently. Call Oregon Eye Specialists at 503-935-5580. With 10 convenient locations one of our clinics is nearby to help you. You can also ask our doctors about eye protection, including safety glasses and safety goggles for specific activities.