Did you know that more than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at work each year? That’s not even counting the number of injuries that happen at home, which number about 125,000. And don’t even get us started on sports – over 40,000 adults and children suffer eye injuries while playing their favorite sports. It’s also important to realize that thousands of eye injuries go unreported. If we knew the true number of eye injuries that happened every year, we might be too scared to get out of bed!
There is good news: protective eyewear prevents up to 90 percent of eye injuries whether you’re working, playing, or doing something at home. They make such a huge difference, we wish people would wear them more. Unfortunately, many people forget, feel silly wearing protection, or just assume they will be fine. They also fail to choose the correct eye protection for what they’re doing. At Guardion Health Services, we have a deep passion for eye nutrition and health, and that is why we are going to use today’s blog to take an in-depth look at your most important accessory: protective eyewear.
Won’t My Glasses Be Enough?
No! We don’t like to think about how many people dive into projects or sports wearing glasses. They assume that, while their glasses aren’t safety goggles, they provide enough shielding to get by. This simply isn’t true. Your glasses are called “dress eyewear,” for a reason: their impact resistance standards aren’t nearly high enough to protect your eyes. They dress you up but don’t protect you.
Both the frames and lenses of safety eyewear must satisfy very high impact resistance standards.These standards originate in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI is a nonprofit organization, which means it has the freedom to create truly excellent safety standards for many products. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), who oversees and enforces healthy workplace practices, use ANSI’s eye safety standards. Read on and imagine your dress eyewear going through these tests. Would they survive?
ANSI Lens Standards: Your Eyes’ Best Friend
ANSI lens standards address everything from goggles to full-face respirators. The following are their updated main points:
- Safety lenses can be classified two ways: basic impact and high impact.
- There are two types of impact tests: basic and high-impact. In a basic test, lenses are tested outside of the frame. In a high-impact test, both the lenses and frames are tested to ensure they work well as a unit.
- High impact tests include velocity tests, which ensure the glasses can stand up to flying projectiles. A quarter-inch steel ball gets launched at the lens at 150 feet per second. The only way a lens passes is if it doesn’t chip, break, crack, or get dislodged from its holder.
- The basic impact safety of lenses gets tested with a “drop ball” test. During this test, a one-inch steel ball gets dropped onto the lens from 50 feet. If the lens doesn’t break, crack, or chip, it passes the test. All safety glasses must pass this test.
- Prescription lenses in safety glasses are usually thicker, making them structurally stronger than non-prescription lenses. However, it also makes them heavier. ANSI now allows thinner prescription safety lenses that must have a minimum thickness of 3 mm.
How Can I Tell My Lenses Have Passed the Tests?
- Look for markings to ensure you have high-quality lenses. Keep in mind that these markings must be permanent.
- The Plus Mark: A + mark on a lens means that it has passed the high-velocity test.
- S and V Marks: If you see an “S” on the lens, that means it has a special tint. These lenses are meant to be work while welding, brazing, cutting, and working with molten metal. If you see a “V” on the lens, it means that it is photochromic and will change their tint depending on your environment’s light levels.
ANSI Frame Standards: Keeping Everything Together
All frames go through testing. It doesn’t matter if they will be basic impact or high impact glasses; all the frames get tested the same way.
The frames need to stand up to corrosion, flames, and other damaging forces. They are thoroughly tested in each category.
High Mass Impact
If a heavy object strikes your safety glasses, they need to maintain their structural integrity. To test this, a pair of glasses with lenses is set on an artificial head. Testers drop a 17.6-ounce steel projectile through a 50-inch tube onto the glasses. In order to pass the test, the frame must hold the lens without losing any pieces on the inside surface next to the eye. Believe us, your regular glasses would not be able to handle this without hurting you!
This test is all about fast-moving objects. The frame gets pummeled from multiple angles by a quarter-inch steel ball at 150 feet per second. Again, the frame must stand up to the abuse without losing a frame or breaking apart toward the eye.
How Can I Tell My Frames Have Passed the Tests?
- Look at the front of the frames or by the temples. If they are non-prescription glasses, you should see a manufacturer’s trademark along with a Z87 or Z87+. Z87 means the frames passed the basic impact test. Z87+ means they passed the high impact test.
- If you have prescription eyewear, look for the manufacturer’s trademark and Z87-2 on the front of the frame as well as both temples.
Our eyes have a profound impact on our quality of life. When they have issues, doing even the most basic tasks can be very difficult. At Guardion Health Services, we want you to keep your eyes safe from catastrophic injury when you are working or playing. However, we want more than that. We want to prevent your eyes from degrading over time. We want to keep your macular pigment strong and your retina safe.
How do we boost and protect your eye health? Well, instead of synthesizing yet another man-made product, we have gone to natural food for the solution. Nature possesses the answer to many of our health issues, and at Guardion Health Sciences, we unite rigorous modern medicine with timeless holistic concepts to create medical foods for eye nutrition. We are guided by an extremely experienced board of medical professionals, and we target eye health because it causes epidemic-level issues. Our product, Lumega-Z, restores and protects your eyes’ macular pigment and helps protect you from age-related diseases like macular degeneration. Learn more about how our cutting edge ocular health experts can help you today!