Protecting Your Eyes

It goes without saying that the eyes are the most precious among senses.  The miracle of vision is one we hold dear.  Loss of sight from trauma is a tragedy we would all like to avoid.  The good news is that 90 percent of all workplace eye injuries are preventable with the use of proper safety eyewear.

Despite this good news, nearly one million Americans have already lost some degree of vision due to an eye injury.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 365,000 work-related eye injuries still occur each year.  Another alarming fact is that, while work-related eye injuries have decreased over the years, eye injuries at home are on the rise.  According to Prevent Blindness of America, the incidence of home-related eye injuries is increasing, and there is a belief that many more occur, which are never reported.  This directly correlates to increased availability and affordability to power tools, lawn tools as well as household chemicals. 

Yet, the distributors and retailers of these products do not as readily make available or promote safety eyewear.

Consumer studies show more people buy protective gloves for gardening and household chores than protective eyewear.  Beyond awareness with such an array of products and technologies, how do you know what is best for you?  The following guide will enable you to best determine the protective eyewear suited to your needs.


  1. Polycarbonate:  Polycarbonate is a material that will sustain high velocity impact.  Environments that have a potential for high velocity projectiles such as wood-working, lawn mowing, and drilling lend to the risk of eye injuries.

  2. Trivex:  Trivex is a plastic-type material that has the same impact resistance as polycarbonate, with improved optics.

  3. Glass:  Although not as impact resistant as polycarbonate and trivex, glass is more resistant to chemicals and heat.  For example, a welder or those working with solvents.


To be effective, safety frames must be part of a lens package.  As previously mentioned, the proper material depends on the occupation or hobby. Safety frames are available in plastics or metals.

If you think you may need safety eyewear for your tasks or hobbies, you probably do. Remember, when in doubt, medical science has yet to create a false eye that can see.

The above information is for reference only, please be sure to consult with your eye care professional.