Eye Protection: Questions Answered and Why It’s Very Important

Posted by Paul Kim on

You’re just planning to mow the lawn, and the thought of donning hearing protection and safety goggles makes you wonder if jean shorts and white New Balances are next. Even if you’re a dad, you’re still every bit as cool as you were in your 20s, so you skip the safety protection and end up in the ER with a rogue twig stuck in your eye.

We get it. Personal protective equipment isn’t exactly known for its runway-esque appearance. Most of us would rather take a “safety third” mentality than wear safety goggles, even when we know we need them. 

The trouble is, eye injuries are really common. So common that there are more than 2.5 million eye injuries every year in the U.S. alone. The eyes can heal from some injuries, but the process is slow, and sometimes, vision can be lost completely. 

It kind of makes those safety goggles and white sneakers a little more appealing.

Let’s talk about eye protection, what it is, and why it’s very important. We’ll also give you some options for protective eyewear that won’t compromise your killer style. First, let’s cover some of the most common eye protection-related questions so you know what to do when and if you sustain an eye injury.

What Should You Know About Eye Injury?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers sustain 20,000 eye-related injuries on the job every year. Even though safety eyewear is usually distributed by employers, there’s a definite problem with workers actually wearing proper eye protection when they need it. 

What’s more, eye injuries don’t just happen at work. About half of all eye injuries occur at home. If we aren’t going to wear eye protection when we’re at work, we’re definitely not going to wear adequate eye protection at home, and that means the occurrence of more eye injuries. 

That leads to an important question: Do you know what to do if you were to sustain an eye injury? We’ll give you some basics and help you understand why eye protection is so crucial to your day to day.

Chemical Splashes

You’re a stay-at-home parent, not a lab worker, so you feel pretty confident you don’t need to worry about a chemical splash or splatter. Wrong. Those cleansers you’re using on your countertops and toilets are great for soap scum, bad for your eyes.

If you experience a chemical splash, head to your nearest eyewash station (aka the sink or shower) and blast lukewarm water into your eye for 15-20 minutes. This gives it plenty of time to completely remove the chemical and also helps reduce the risk of chemical burns. 

Based on the length of time needed, we highly recommend the shower. 

What’s the Most Common Type of Eye Injury?

The most common type of eye injury comes in the form of abrasions and scratches to the eye. This can happen from strikes or scrapes but frequently happens from much smaller particles floating around a work environment, like dust, grit, wood, or metal. 

You’re exposed to these types of work area risks when you’re at home, too. Yard work, in particular, can be brutal to your eyes. 

When Should You Seek Medical Attention for an Eye Injury?

Here’s the thing. Your vision is precious, and your retinal cells, which give you the ability to see, don’t regenerate. That means if you decide against appropriate eye protection and sustain an injury, you could suffer more than just a cut in your income from missed work: you could experience partial or full vision loss. 

Any time you sustain an eye injury, it’s a good idea to have your eyes examined as soon as possible to make sure you aren’t at risk of an injury to the retina. If you get an object stuck in your eye, never try to remove it, head to the ER instead. The same goes for burns, chemical fume infiltration, and chemical splashes. Always, always see the doctor. 

Before any of that happens, you have the option to prevent it by simply wearing safety eyewear. Just wearing protective eyewear can reduce your risk of injury by up to 90%.

How Can You Protect Your Eyes? 

Pool cleaning products, disinfectants, laundry pods, and bleach are all potential hazards for your eyes. It’s recommended that while handling these materials, you wear safety glasses or goggles or a face shield, especially if you are mixing chemicals.

Your regular eyeglasses need not apply. Regular prescription eyeglasses (and contact lenses) do not offer the safety features and coverage that protective eyewear does. They aren’t nearly as impact-resistant, and cannot fully protect you from eye hazards. 

What Is Eye Protection?

Protective eyewear refers to specialized glasses or goggles that are worn to protect your eyes from injury when your work conditions are hazardous. 

Protective eyewear is necessary for some people on the job, while some may only need protective eyewear when they’re tackling home improvement projects or other home and recreation activities. 

If you’re thinking you can bypass the safety glasses and just wear your favorite pair of shades, you’re wrong. Neither regular eyeglasses nor sunglasses are designed with the same safety features as safety glasses and goggles. They can’t withstand impact or protect your eyes completely. 

There are numerous activities that merit the use of eye protection. 

  • Lawn and yard work
  • Home improvement (anything that requires grinding, sawing, sanding, or drilling)
  • Cleaning with chemicals that create fumes
  • Auto repair
  • Welding projects
  • Work-related requirements
  • Electrical work
  • Carpentry
  • Mining 
  • Plumbing
  • Basic home maintenance

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should help you realize that there are a lot more activities that involve risk to your eyes than just working in a laboratory. 

What Type of Eye Protection Do You Need?

You’ve got options in terms of eye protection. Your specific project may require the use of safety goggles which give you more protection or allow for safety glasses. Let’s compare them both. 

Safety Goggles

Safety goggles are designed to give your eyes 360-degree protection without any gaps. Normally, safety goggles attach by the use of an adjustable head strap, much like goggles you’d wear to swim. 

Safety goggles aren’t usually available with prescription lenses. Because of their size, it’s possible you can wear them over your regular glasses, although they might not be extremely comfortable. 

Many professions require the use of safety goggles, especially if you work with hazardous chemicals and/or airborne illness. They’re also a good idea for some home improvement projects. 

Safety Glasses

For most projects, safety glasses are an acceptable form of eye protection. Safety glasses include specialized frames, lenses, and side + top shields that protect your eyes from flying debris and immediate contact with chemicals and fumes. 

If you wear prescription glasses, you already know what a pain it is to strap PPE specs over those prescription frames. Eliminate this frustration with safety glasses. Safety glasses represent the best of 2-in-1 eyewear and are OSHA-approved. It’s time to banish those uncomfortable goggles to the back of your closet. 

What Are ANSI Standards?

The ANSI standards were developed to ensure that all safety glasses and protective eyewear conforms to the same standards. When you’re shopping for protective eyewear, it’s important to always look for an ANSI certification. 

Here’s what ANSI certification means for your protective specs:

  • Frames are tested to withstand impact from a ¼” steel ball traveling 150 feet per second. The frames should be able to keep the lenses intact under this amount of impact. The lenses of safety glasses and goggles must also be able to withstand this same type of impact. This is referred to as the high-velocity impact test.
  • A secondary “drop ball” test is performed on the lenses of safety glasses and goggles. In this testing scenario, a one-inch ball is dropped from a height of fifty feet onto the lenses. The lenses must not scratch, break, or crack to pass the test. This is the basic impact test.
  • Lenses and frames of safety glasses and goggles are tested separately so that the durability of one is not reliant on the other. 
  • Safety lenses may be prescription, but the prescription must conform to thickness requirements as outlined by ANSI. 
  • Safety frames must also pass a flammability test that involves exposure to flame and corrosive chemicals. 

Differences in Safety Ratings

You can determine the difference in safety ratings of your safety glasses by learning the variations in the markings on the lenses or frames. Most of the time, the lenses will bear the marking to let you know they’ve been tested and approved. 

  • Lens tinting: If you see a “V” or “S” on your lenses, it means they have a protective tint. The manufacturer will include more information about the specifics of the tint and what conditions in which the glasses can be used. 
  • Frame markings: A marking of “Z87.1” on the frames of your safety glasses or goggles indicates your frames have passed the ANSI impact test. This marking is critical to look out for. You need your glasses to be as tough as you are and handle anything life throws at you. 

How Else Can You Keep Your Eyes Safe?

Your safety eyewear needs to be durable, and the polycarbonate lenses and frames used in every pair of Stoggles ensure they won’t break or shatter. However, we don’t stop the safety party there. Every pair of Stoggles comes standard with these other amazing safety features.

  • Top and side shields. Regular eyewear leaves your eyes vulnerable at the sides and top of the frames. Stoggles protect these areas with top and side protection in the form of low-profile shields, giving you the coverage and all-around protection you need.
  • Anti-fog lenses. Never worry about your lenses fogging. Stoggles are coated with a special and proprietary anti-fogging compound that lasts through regular cleaning.
  • UV Blocking. UV light protection isn’t just for welders. Stoggles wearers get UV protection no matter where they’re exposed, but especially while outdoors in the sun. Our polycarbonate material is naturally UV blocking. 
  • Blue light filtering. Does your work station include a computer or looking at a screen? Then you need blue light filtering safety eyewear. Blue light can reach the retina, like UV rays. Blue light filtering lenses turn the blue light away.

Need prescription safety glasses? We do that, too. Just upload your script to our website, and we’ll take care of the rest — the good thing is that our prescription lenses come with all of the great features mentioned above. 

Safety Glasses in Style: Stoggles

Meet your new best friends in safety. Stoggles wear like your favorite glasses but give you all the protection you need because you should never have to compromise safety or style. Not only do they offer style and protection, but every pair of Stoggles comes with an anti-fog coating and blue light protective technology.

Stoggles safety glasses are ANSI Z87.1 impact tested and certified, so you can be confident that hitting on a rock on your mower won’t injure your eyes. 

You won’t have to worry about wearing uncomfortable protective gear over your regular glasses with a pair of Stoggles. Our lenses are available in prescription. We handle your prescriptions in-house, too, saving you time and money. 

Stoggles are also blue-light protective, so you keep your eyes safe in front of your favorite devices. Our safety glasses are truly designed so that you can wear them no matter what your day involves and look good while you’re at it. 

Eye Protection on Trend

The verdict is in; eye protection is on trend with Stoggles. Protecting your eyes is incredibly important, no matter how minimal you feel your task may be. To ensure the best possible protection for your eyes, look for the ANSI certification for both your safety glasses’ frames and lenses. 

Trust us; you’ll look more stylish sporting safety glasses instead of an eye patch; the pirate look is so last year. 


When It Comes to Eye Injuries, the Men’s Eyes Have It | AAO.org

1910.133 - Eye and face protection. | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020: Current Standard for Safety Glasses | Ansi

Workplace Eye Injuries Cost Time, Money and Vision - American Academy of Ophthalmology

Eye Safety at Home: Preventing Eye Injuries - American Academy of Ophthalmology

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