Help Me Choose
Protect your eyes, not your wallet
By Darren Mirau, Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists
If your optometrist has prescribed a visual correction and you
work in an environment potentially hazardous to your eyes,
you will require prescription safety eyewear. Choosing the
right frames and lenses can be challenging; the following informa-tion
may bring things into focus for you.
When choosing a frame, it is important to remember the priori-ty
of safety glasses is to protect your eyes from injury. Safety frames
can be stylish while providing maximum coverage of the eye and
therefore maximum safety. Well-fitted frames should fit close to the
brow and cheek line and be equipped with permanent or integrat-ed
side shields. Safety markings will confirm they meet safety stan-dards.
Frame choice must also be based on the style of lenses being
Safety lens styles available include single vision, bifocal, trifocal,
progressive, occupational and computer. Your optometrist’s office
staff will happily answer questions and recommend the best choice
of lens style, material, coatings and other features. The one coating
that should always be applied to prescription safety eyewear is the
highest quality scratch resistant coating available. This coating is
not “scratch proof,” but will be the best way to prolong the life of
your lenses. Other popular lens options include anti-reflection and
ultraviolet (UV) coatings, tints and photo chromatic lenses. The
choice of these may be considered based on your specific job re-quirements
and past personal preference.
Anti-reflection coatings are recommended for computer users
and to reduce glare, therefore providing clearer vision. This type of
coating can only be applied to specific lens materials to maintain
lens strength and may require more frequent cleaning.
UV exposure can lead to corneal damage while prolonged expo-sure
to blue light may cause retinal damage and contribute to age-related
macular degeneration and loss of vision. Coatings applied to
lenses ensure protection up to the 500-nanometer range.
Photo chromatic lenses are clear indoors and darken when ex-posed
to UV light. It is the employer’s decision whether to allow
these lenses as the CSA has not included them in their guidelines.
They may be recommended for employees who frequently work out-doors.
With the popularity of this type of lens in general use glasses,
you may find it necessary to have this feature in safety eyewear. The
MIHALEC / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 1 2018 | Think BIG 51