What are Goggles?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Goggles are eyeglasses that are closely fitted and aim to protect the eye. The name comes from the word goggle, which means to stare, roll, or bulge the eyes. There are several kinds, including safety goggles used in various professions and locations and different types of sports goggles.

Goggles may be used to protect the eyes during tanning.
Goggles may be used to protect the eyes during tanning.

Safety goggles are used to protect the eye from impact, heat, and chemicals. Those for use in the desert protect the eyes from sand and those with military grade are used in military operations to protect eyes from shrapnel. Fire and rescue goggles are designed to work with fire helmets and protect the eyes from heat. Perforated versions are designed to prevent fogging, while protecting the eyes from larger debris. They are suited for woodworking, for example. Splash goggles are a form of lab goggle which or ventless or have covered vents to that the wearer is protected from splashing liquids. Welding goggles have a hard shell and are designed to be worn over safety glasses, adding an extra layer of protection from irradiation, heat, and debris.

Safety goggles typically are used to protect the eyes from chemical and particle exposure.
Safety goggles typically are used to protect the eyes from chemical and particle exposure.

Tactical goggles have features like turbo exhaust and special night vision features. Panoramic Night Vision Goggles (PNVG’s) have been used in the Air Force since April, 2005. They provide a 95-degree field of view, compared to the 40 degrees offered by regular ones. Night vision versions are also used for night sky tracking of phenomena such as comets, asteroid showers, and other astronomical observations.

Goggles are used in the desert to protect people's eyes from sand.
Goggles are used in the desert to protect people's eyes from sand.

Those for swimming are designed to protect eyes from the water, weather chlorinated or not and improve underwater vision. They can be made with prescription lenses, Ear protective goggles (EPGs) are an innovation in swim accessories, designed to protect both eyes and ears, that was patented in 1998.

Swimming goggles are designed to help swimmers see underwater and to their eyes from the chlorinated pool water.
Swimming goggles are designed to help swimmers see underwater and to their eyes from the chlorinated pool water.

Those make for skiing are built for durability and comfort. They often come with a choice of lenses to match the lighting conditions. A recent invention is “magic goggles.” These are ski goggles that switch tints when a button is pressed. This allows skiers and snowboarders to adjust a key element of safety by adapting their vision to the ambient light, literally on the fly, if conditions change.

The lenses in ski goggles are usually designed for specific weather and lighting conditions.
The lenses in ski goggles are usually designed for specific weather and lighting conditions.

In July, 2006, Glasgow University researchers announced a real, working type of x-ray goggles. Planned for use in counterterrorism and security, they see through clothes and suitcases. This eyewear has raised privacy issues, even as it creates visions of normal people having what used to be thought of as superhero powers.

Swimming goggles can help protect the eyes from chlorinated water.
Swimming goggles can help protect the eyes from chlorinated water.
Ski goggles are recommended to allow for maximum peripheral vision.
Ski goggles are recommended to allow for maximum peripheral vision.
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

spasiba

Goggles can be also used around the house, even though they were not intended for that purpose. When you work around products that can harm or irritate your eyes, why not use goggles.

If I have a lot of onions to chop, goggles come in quite handy.

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