Wear Those Safety Glasses!

Regardless of whether you’re headed to the beach or the metal shop, it is important to protect your eyes with safety glasses. They protect your eyes from the many dangers that can permanently damage your vision or completely destroy an unguarded eye, yet people neglect to wear them all the time.

UV Rays

No matter what, direct UV rays can harm your eyes. At the beach or on a bright, snowy day, sunglasses can be as important as safety glasses are in the wood shop. A good pair of sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, according to the Mayo Clinic. The darkness of the lenses has nothing to do with how much they protect your eyes. A light lens with 100 percent UV protection is better for your eyes than a dark lens without UV protection. Wraparound style glasses and glasses with wide lenses offer better eye protection than standard glasses because your eye is protected from more angles.

Sunglasses also offer a way to protect your eyes from trauma during everyday activities. For example, you could get poked in the eye by a twig while you’re running or biking along a path. These activities could cause eye injuries as significant as those from working with power tools. You may not want to wear bulky protective glasses while running through the park, but a pair of sunglasses pulls double duty.

Power Tools and Welding

If you’re working in a wood or metal shop, it is essential that you wear safety glasses. Power tools that are used for woodworking or cutting metal can easily launch small particles into your eyes. Big-enough shards can physically mangle the eye, while smaller particles can cause irritation, infection, or other problems down the road.

If you get metal in your eye that is not removed, you may never be able to enter a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, which is used to diagnose soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and tears. Under the intense magnetic forces in an MRI, small bits of metal can heat up to dangerous temperatures or be pulled through the body, according to the FDA.

Welding poses similar threats to woodworking from flying particles in addition to the intense UV light it generates. OSHA warns that both visible light and ultraviolet (UV) light, the same rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer, can damage a welder’s eyes.

If you’re working with potentially dangerous equipment, make sure you have safety glasses before you begin any work, and remember to pack your sunglasses next time you go to the beach or out for a run.

For questions or comments, contact Woodhams Eye Clinic.

Image source: Flickr