Eye protection is simple protective equipment designed especially for the eyes, designed to decrease the risk of serious damage from a variety of potential objects or flying debris. Common examples of potential hazards requiring eye protection include: impact from debris or particles, heat or cold, radiation or light, wind spray, ice or ball/puck used in athletic competition, or impact from any kind of ball or bat used in contact sports. Eye protection should be worn when playing sports involving contact, such as wrestling, boxing or martial arts; during any activity where the eyes may be in harm’s way, such as riding a bicycle or skateboarding; or when going to an outdoor party.
Another example of a common eye injury requiring the wear of eye protection includes falling or rolling onto one’s side. This is a very common occurrence in North America and also occurs with frequent exposure to extreme heat. Many athletes inadvertently fall on their side when practicing or competing. For this reason, some of the safety equipment manufacturers have created specialized eye wear to minimize the dangers of falling and/or rolling. Eye wear designed specifically for this purpose includes side protection, helmet guards and arm guards. These protective accessories are built to fit snugly against the eye, covering the majority of the eye’s exposed surface.
Protective eyeglasses are another important component of eye protection. The degree to which an athlete must wear protective glasses depends on the frequency and magnitude of his or her activity. Frequent athletics activities may lead to more contact with potentially dangerous particles or objects, such as rocks kicked up by other players or other debris kicked up during play. Low-level contact sports may not require special protective eyeglasses, but they do need regular disposable lenses, such as lenses cleaned every few days.
One of the most important components of eye protection consists of a protective seal around the perimeter of the lenses. A thick protective seal around the perimeter of the lenses ensures that any particles, such as small rocks kicked up during play or dirt and grime, will not enter the lenses and enter into the eye. This is especially important for baseball players because they often face the risk of serious facial injuries when they slide or fall due to dirt or other particles hitting their faces. If dirt or other particles should enter the eye, it could result in scarring, permanent damage or even blindness.
Spectacles or safety glasses are one of the oldest forms of eye protection. In fact, the first protective equipment was developed about four centuries ago. This article discusses the types of eye protection commonly worn by individuals of all ages and whether they are recommended for daily wear or specific sports or recreational activities. The main article discusses the three main styles of protective eye wear: sunglasses, soft lenses and spectacles, as well as a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each style. Additional articles can be found by clicking on the links below.
Eye protection has two major functions: first, to prevent serious injury from contact with hazardous materials; and second, to ensure the protection of eyes and other bodily parts while performing certain jobs. Sports enthusiasts, outdoor workers, lab workers, factory workers, and school teachers are just a few occupations that require the wearing of eye protection. Based on the safety standards currently recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), eye protection should be worn every time hazardous materials are handled.