When do I Need to Wear Prescription Safety Eyewear?

Alicia Sparks

You should wear prescription safety eyewear if you engage in any kind of activity that puts the safety of your eyes at risk and you already wear prescription glasses or contacts. Such activities might include your job, certain hobbies and recreational activities, and even sports. You can obtain prescription safety eyewear from a variety of sources, including your regular optometrist and third-party companies that specialize in manufacturing prescription goggles.

Some people need prescription safety eyewear for playing sports.
Some people need prescription safety eyewear for playing sports.

Many kinds of jobs put employees’ eye safety at risk. It is for this reason employers, and oftentimes government agencies and laws, require employees to wear safety glasses. Examples of occupations that usually require employees to wear safety glasses include welding, auto repair, carpentry, and construction jobs. If your employer requires you to wear safety glasses for your job, and you need prescription glasses to help your vision, consider investing in prescription safety eyewear. Be sure the eyewear you choose complies with your employer’s or the law’s standards.

Individuals who use wordworking tools should always wear safety eyewear.
Individuals who use wordworking tools should always wear safety eyewear.

Several kinds of hobbies put eye safety at risk. For example, if you enjoy woodworking, prescription safety eyewear can protect your eyes from sawdust that circles around in the air or wood fragments that dislodge from larger pieces. If you enjoy rebuilding or restoring vehicles, safety goggles can protect your eyes from sparks and flying bits of metal. Motorcyclists who wear helmets that don’t provide face shields can wear safety goggles to protect their eyes from the elements, bugs, and other hazards. Think about the kinds of hobbies you enjoy, and if those hobbies put your eyes at risk in any way, it’s best to wear safety glasses.

Not wearing safety eyewear in a sport like racquetball poses a risk to the eyes.
Not wearing safety eyewear in a sport like racquetball poses a risk to the eyes.

Depending on the sport or player position, sometimes wearing sports glasses is advised or required. Such sports can include anything from racquetball and tennis to basketball and soccer. Swimming often requires goggles, and sometimes bicyclists prefer to wear cycling glasses to protect their eyes from insects, debris, and weather conditions. Even if wearing sports glasses isn’t necessary for eye safety, players who normally wear prescription glasses might find it easier to use prescription safety eyewear during their games. This is especially true for players who have vision conditions that don’t allow for contacts.

If your job requires you to wear safety goggles, your employer might provide, or compensate you for, prescription safety eyewear. Your regular optometrist might be able to order prescription safety eyewear for you, or direct you to a company that specializes in prescription goggles. If your eye prescription is current, you might prefer to shop directly with a third-party company that sells prescription safety eyewear.

Workshops often require safety goggles be worn.
Workshops often require safety goggles be worn.

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