Wearing safety glasses reduces eye injuries in the workplace, at home and recreationally and every effort should be made to wear quality eye protection. For those working in environments where safety glasses and goggles are part of the everyday life, managing these with prescription eyewear is often an additional challenge. With the sudden rise in protective face shields in the workplace as a result of Covid 19, a whole new segment of the working population has been exposed to ensuring eye safety and maintaining unimpeded vision and eyewear comfort. There are some challenges in balancing eye protection with a vision prescription. In the 20 years that SoCal Eye doctors have been performing LASIK surgery in Southern California, this is the #2 motivation for patients to consider laser eye surgery.
Before Covid 19, over 5 million pairs of safety glasses and safety goggles were sold in the United States every year in an effort to prevent eye injuries in the workplace. The majority of these are used to ensure the safety of workers in construction, manufacturing and logistics/transportation and warehousing jobs. Since Covid 19, protective eye shields have become the norm for millions of healthcare workers across the United States and protection of choice for many others seeking to protect themselves from infection.
Challenges of Eye Protection with Prescription Eyewear
Balancing the need for eye protection with prescription eyewear has posed some problems.
- Prescription Safety Eyewear: Many manufacturers of safety eyewear have programs for adding prescription lenses to safety glasses and goggles. The price for these begins at $100 and up depending on the lens selection and most need to be replaced every 6 months to a year as a result of scratching and other workplace wear and tear. Safety glasses are not traditionally covered by standard vision insurance programs.
- Safety Eyewear worn over Prescription Glasses: A broad selection of safety goggles are designed to be worn over prescription eyewear. The wearer gets to use a single pair of prescription glasses and is afforded protection from a surrounding, non-prescription goggle. This configuration is often quite bulky and wearers complain that they are not always comfortable.
- Protective Face Shields and Prescription Glasses: Whereas these shields can be worn over the top of prescription eyewear, they are often worn in conjunction with a face mask. This leads to fogging and smudging problems caused by the shield wearers breath not be allowed to escape.
- Safety Eyewear and Contact Lenses: The Optometry Times identified a sharp increase in first time contact lens fittings in the past 6 months that it attributed to mask and shield wearing and the associated problems with prescription eyeglasses. There is a definite freedom associated with contact lenses over eyeglasses but they may not always be options for environments where safety eyewear is mandated.
- …….. and then there is LASIK: LASIK has also seen a dramatic increase over the past 6-12 months as a result of masks and shields in the workplace. LASIK offers a fundamental freedom for eyeglass wearers. Freedom from smudging and blurring lenses and freedom from slipping, sliding and tumbling frames. LASIK is fast and highly effective in providing vision correction and makes the wearing of protective eyewear more effective and more comfortable.
Note: US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over 27,000 instances of eye injury every year in the United States and SoCal Eye absolutely encourages and recommends the use of effective eye protection in the workplace, at home and recreationally. Safety First!
SoCal Eye – LASIK Long Beach
SoCal Eye has been performing refractive eye surgery in Long Beach since 1987 and have completed thousands of LASIK and PRK procedures. LASIK is ideal for those with an active lifestyle and studies show that up to 98% of patients achieve 20/40 vision or better. Currently SoCal Eye is offering a 25% savings for LASIK procedures. All LASIK treatment begins with a Consultation. Please call to schedule an Appointment today at LAKEWOOD (562) 531-2020 | LOS ALAMITOS (562) 598-7728 or send us an Online Consultation Request