For generations, prescription glasses were viewed, by many, as simply a medical device. Old glass lenses served their purpose of vision correction while housed in rather plain frames. Today, however, we think of prescription glasses as fashionable eyewear, with infinite combinations of stylish frames and lens types to choose from. But what about prescription safety eyewear? Yes, they too have come a long way from the simple, unattractive, protective eye coverings they used to be.
In fact, there are a plethora of available options that are not only fashionable but also a variety of prescription safety eyewear designed for specific tasks or environments. As a division of Hoya Vision Care, SafeVision specializes in prescription safety eyewear with state-of-the-art optical laboratories, our own line of ANSI-rated frames, and partnerships with eye care providers across North America. We can help you find the best quality prescription safety eyewear to suit your needs.
To get you started, here is a brief overview of some of the considerations to explore when selecting your next pair of prescription safety eyewear:
One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All
You might be thinking that when you buy a pair of eyewear, such as your prescription glasses, you can wear them for more than one activity. Unfortunately, not all eyewear is adequate for all the activities we participate in.
For those that work in hazardous environments, you may already be well acquainted with a variety of PPE (personal protection equipment). Hard hats, steel toe boots, gloves, etc. Like all PPE, prescription safety eyewear should be designed and/or selected to meet the needs of the task. Chemical splashes and electrical shock are a few of the more obvious concerns but there is a variety of less than obvious ones to keep in mind even for those who don’t work in a hazardous environment and during our regular day-to-day activities away from our jobs.
Lawnmowers kick up all sorts of dangerous projectiles like rocks; dust and debris can fall into our eyes while going up to the attic to put away the Christmas decorations; most household cleaning chemicals, even those that are not dangerous upon contact with your skin, can cause serious irritation or injury if they get in your eyes. That’s why it’s important to consider impact resistance, foam dust dams/bars, or sealed prescription safety eyewear to suit the situation.
Let’s take a look at a few more specialized options:
Computer or Blue Light Protective Eyewear
For those who work at a desk, play video games, watch television or spend time on your smartphone for any extended period of time you’ll probably be familiar with digital eye strain. This happens for a number of reasons including your posture but also HEV blue light. High Energy Visible blue light is emitted by screens. As light enters your eye it passes through, what is called, the crystalline lens. This is where light is bent, or refracted, into a focal point at the back of your eyeball known as the retina. Here is where the largest concentration of light-responsive nerve endings is located.
They translate the energy for the light into signals that travel up your optic nerve to your brain to be interpreted. HEV blue light, due to its wavelength, doesn’t refract perfectly onto that sweet spot at the back of your eye, the retina. So your eye, both consciously and unconsciously continually tries to refocus when exposed to high amounts of HEV blue light and/or when exposed for an extended period of time. This can lead to your eyes feeling tired which is frequently referred to as digital eye strain.
Eye care professionals and researchers are now concerned about the potentially harmful effects of HEV blue light on our overall vision health. Obviously, the best solution is limiting our screen time but our world continues to increase the number of screens around us. Even going to a restaurant you’ll often find screens replacing the menu or perhaps you’ll be told to scan a code to view it on your phone.
At SafeVision we’re not only experts in ANSI safety standards for eyewear but also optical experts. Our premier lens coating, RECHARGE, not only helps repel oil, water, and scratches but also reduces the amount of blue light that passes through to your eyes. It’s also an anti-reflective (AR) coating, which, as the name implies, helps eliminate distracting reflections on the lenses.
Lenses For Specific Tasks & Hobbies
For those of you who engage visually-intense work or hobbies that require you to focus on something near at hand for extended periods of time, we suggest utilizing our Ergonomic Workstation Design. These prescription lenses are built with the HOYA Tact lens design which feature a much larger intermediate area of focus than standard progressive lens design. This is a perfect pairing for our RECHARGE lens coating for those who work on the computer all day.
For most, we don’t think of eyewear when it comes to safe driving practices. But glare off of other cars and surfaces like water or even the road itself can significantly reduce your vision. We suggest a quality pair of prescription polarized lenses for those who require corrective eyewear to wear while driving. Polarized lenses are typically gray, brown, or green but can come in a wide variety of colors. It’s important to know the difference between polarized lenses and tinted lenses.
The latter is simply a lens that has been treated with a color which may reduce the amount of light overall. A polarized lens does this as well but also absorbs horizontal light rays. This effectively reduces the glare caused by light bouncing off a surface and reaching your eye horizontally.
Polarized lenses are an excellent choice for those who spend a lot of time on the water driving a boat too. They reduce the glare off water and allow you to better see hazards underneath the surface.
At SafeVision, all our polarized lenses are made with polycarbonate or Phoenix lens materials. Both materials block 100% of harmful UVA & UVB light. We suggest adding prescription polarized lenses to one of our PENTAX safety frames. Especially the wrap styles which offer the best coverage for the sensitive skin around your eyes that can also be damaged by UV light from extended sun exposure.
Adding a pair of driving eyewear to your routine can sharpen your vision on the road and keep you and your passengers safe.
Safety Eyewear For Hazardous Jobs or Activities
There are many industries where safety eyewear is a requirement per OSHA standards. These jobs include more industrial or hazardous workplaces where chemical splashes or flying projectiles are possible and sometimes common. Safety eyewear should be impact resistant, offer optimal eye coverage, and, ideally, be fit by an optician.
At SafeVision, our safety eyewear is made of durable, well-tested materials and provides more coverage than an average pair of glasses. Choose from classic plastic or sleek metal frames with polycarbonate side shields or wrap-around styles for a closer fit. Many wrap styles feature a foam dust bar/dam that runs along the top of the eyewear to help protect against falling debris. A head strap is also available with many of these wrap styles for those who want to ensure their safety eyewear stays firmly on their face throughout the day.
Our GT20 goggle passed D5 testing standards set forth by ANSI for protection against even the finest dust. They include a prescription lens insert so you can wear them with your corrective lenses. If you work in an industrial setting or engage in more hazardous activities, you should always wear safety eyewear. Explore our options and customize yours at www.safevision.com.