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Prescription Safety Glasses: How to Choose the Right Pair

Glasses on a eye exam chart to test eyesight accuracy

Invest in a pair of prescription safety glasses to protect yourself at the workplace, during sporting events or for weekend DIY projects at home. Healthcare experts say that wearing the right type of protective eyewear can prevent 90 per cent of eye injuries.

The wide range of frames, lens materials and tints available can make selection of safety eyeglasses rather confusing. Our optical professionals have highlighted some important aspects to point you in the right direction. However, it is best to visit an eye doctor in Edmonton for an eye exam and seek guidance on what type of safety glasses are appropriate for your line of work. 7 Important Questions about Prescription Safety Glasses

  1. How do I recognize safety glasses? According to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), “Half of those who did use safety eyewear wore the wrong type.” The CSA Z94.3 standard (ANSI Z87.1-2015 in the United States) provides recommendations for proper selection of protective eyewear relative to the hazard or activity, including laser safety. Approved safety glasses are usually marked with the CSA or ANSI logo or include some certification documentation in the packaging.

  2. What to look for in lens material? Polycarbonate, Trivex and plastic (CR-39) lenses are recommended by the CSA. Avoid glass as it does not meet impact resistance criteria. Polycarbonate is lightweight but offers the strongest impact resistance when compared to other lens materials. Most polycarbonate lenses also have built-in UV radiation protection. CR-39 plastic is about half the weight of glass and resistant to solvents and pitting with plenty of options for coatings and tints. Trivex is capable of more impact resistance than CR-39 but less than polycarbonate.

  3. What is the difference between plastic and polycarbonate lenses? CR-39 plastic is a thermoset plastic which means it cannot be molded or bent when heated. Although this polymer (diallyl diglycol carbonate) is a polycarbonate, its starting materials are different from the resins used in safety glasses with polycarbonate lenses. In contrast, polycarbonate polymers are thermoplastic, which means the lenses can be formed by melting polycarbonate and injecting them into a mold.

  4. Which are the right safety lens for my line of work? Wearing appropriate protection for your work conditions is key to your eye safety. Protection eyeglasses categories are based on the type and level of protection they provide e.g. flying objects and particles, acid splash, glare, heat and sparks, etc. Based on the nature of your work environment, you may be required to choose one or two levels of protection. Your eye doctor in Edmonton can help you choose a suitable pair.

  5. How do I select a safety lens colour? Lenses can be clear, tinted, photochromic or polarized with each type offering different levels of ultraviolet protection. Grey base lenses are ideal for harsh sunlight and glare. For varying light conditions, you have a choice of high contrast lenses with brown, copper, rose, and amber base tints. Do not make your decision based solely on the colour of the lens. Consult your eye doctor about the uses and limitations of each type.

  6. How do I determine the right fit? For optimum safety, you must ensure that your safety eyeglasses fit well. The frame should be as close to your face as possible and properly supported by the bridge of the nose. The temples should also fit comfortably over your ears.

  7. Do prescription safety eyeglasses require special care? Proper maintenance will help optimize the lifespan of your protection eyeglasses. Here are some care tips:

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and clean your safety glasses daily.

  • Avoid rough handling that can scratch and weaken lenses.

  • Store your safety eyeglasses in their case and in a clean, dry place where they cannot fall or be stepped on.

  • Replace scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting glasses as soon as possible because they impair vision and compromise your safety.

  • Replace damaged parts with identical parts from the original manufacturer to ensure the same safety rating.

Visit your optometrist or local eye doctor in Edmonton for professional help with the selection of appropriate prescription safety glasses. At The Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we offer a wide range of protection eyeglasses from trusted manufacturers. Our customized solutions meet the needs of individuals working in a wide range of industries as well as all types of sporting requirements. You can count on our dedicated and experienced opticians to help protect your vision and optical health. Find out more about prescription safety glasses by contacting us online or visit one of our convenient locations in Edmonton to book your eye exam.


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