Safety Glasses Types and Their Differences

Most of us don’t make it through a decade of adulthood without the need for safety glasses, but if you don’t wear them daily, you probably aren’t familiar with the myriad of customizable options available.

Unlike the disposable pairs you inherited from your dad’s tool bench, safety glasses today have upgraded, protective features that can keep your eyes safe from more than just sawdust or rocks flying from your lawnmower.

The eye safety superheroes at Stoggles know safety glasses like the back of their eyelids. We’ll give you all the details about all the different options available for safety glasses so you can decide which kind is best for your needs. First, let’s talk about why you need them in the first place.

Do I Really Need Safety Glasses?

Yes. Whether you’re a coal miner or a stay-at-home mom, there is always a need to protect your eyes. Job-related eye injuries occur at a rate of 2000 per day, with one-third resulting in emergency room visits and 100 injuries resulting in missed work.

It might surprise you, however, that over half of all eye injuries sustained in the United States happen at home. Cleaning, housework, home improvement, and yard work all pose risks to your vision.

Lastly, your eyes are at risk when you’re at play. More than 600,000 eye injuries are sustained each year in sports-related events, including events at home like throwing a baseball with your kids.

What Could Happen?

We get it, and we’ve said it too. But, “What could happen” can quickly become famous (regrettable) last words if you don’t protect your eyes and end up with an injury that costs you your vision.

The reality is that our vision doesn’t heal itself once it’s gone. Retinal cells are precious and limited. Unlike other cells in our body, they don’t regenerate. This means if they’re damaged due to a spill, splash, strike, or burn, there may be no chance of ever recovering your vision.

According to the experts, 90% of all eye injuries (in the entire world) are preventable simply by wearing protective safety glasses.

When Do You Need Them?

More often than you think. From your job to your at-home activities to your favorite pastimes, there’s really never a reason to not be protecting your eyes. Stoggles makes it easy by providing you with protection that’s also conveniently stylish, so you’ll actually wear them.

Let’s cover what’s available to protect your eyes and how you can get the most protection from your safety glasses no matter what you’ve got on the docket for your day.

Types of Safety Glasses

Growing up watching Tim the Toolman Taylor reminds us of the bulky safety goggles that were once the ultimate in eye protection. Although we know that we need eye protection, who wants to wear them?

In addition to being more streamlined and sleek, safety glasses today offer even more protective features than Tim’s Home Improvement goggles did.

1. Blue Light Blockers

If you’re wondering what blue light is, we’ve got you covered. Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum that is closely related to UV light. It has short wavelengths and high energy. It’s emitted from sources like the sun and some fluorescent lights, but also from sources like computers, tablets, LED televisions, and smartphones.

Blue light causes eye strain, fatigue, and can even result in headaches and temporary blurry vision. Working in front of a computer screen all day places you at a higher risk of developing symptoms of blue light exposure.

While we don’t yet know the long-term effects of blue light exposure, researchers are continuing to study whether or not it could damage your retina and macula.

  • Blue light-blocking safety glasses protect you from blue light emitted from these sources by filtering out the light or reflecting it off the surface of the glasses. Blue light-blocking glasses derive their power from a powder injected along with the plastic during the molding process to make the lenses.
  • Essential for: Anyone who is exposed to blue light (hint: that’s you). Everyone is exposed to blue light, but with the upturn in digital everything, it's never been more important to protect your eyes from blue light exposure. Your risk of blue light exposure increases with the frequency and duration of your device usage.

Blue light-blocking safety glasses protect your eyes so you can work without worrying about the effects your devices might be having on your vision.

2. UV Blockers

UV protection from safety glasses isn’t a new technology, but having it without the addition of a shaded lens is.

Ultraviolet light is damaging to your eyes and can create both temporary and long-term vision issues.

  • UV protection safety glasses protect you from exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. If you work outdoors or play outdoors, your glasses need UV protection, and that’s completely different from the color or shade of your lenses.

    UV protection is coated onto your glasses to reflect UV rays and keep your eyes safe, even if you aren’t in sunlight. Welding arc, medical lab equipment, and some dental equipment are all sources of UV light that require eye protection without shade.

  • Essential for: Everyone exposed to UV light. If you work indoors and are exposed to UV light, clear safety glasses keep you laser-focused while protecting your eyes. Outdoors, a pair of tinted safety glasses can provide both shade and protection from UV-related eye issues, like photokeratitis.

Your regular sunglasses need not apply. The UV protection offered by safety glasses allows you to protect your eyes both indoors and out.

3. Impact Resistance

Most safety glasses offer some impact resistance, but to ensure you have the ultimate protection, look for the ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification.

This certification ensures your safety glasses have undergone two specific tests to keep your eyes safe from impact:

  • High mass impact. During this test, a weighted ball bearing is dropped onto the lenses of the safety glasses to ensure they do not crack or break.
    • High-velocity impact. For this test, a ball bearing is launched at the safety glasses at a high speed.

To pass these tests and earn the ANSI seal, the glasses cannot break or shatter.

  • Impact-resistant safety glasses protect you from strikes, drops, and falls from material and heavy objects.
    • Essential for: Impact resistance is important for numerous jobs like construction, automotive work, welding, mining, and for tasks like yard work, and certain sports and hobbies.

Not all safety glasses that say they are impact-resistant bear the ANSI Z87.1-2020 seal. You should be able to see the ANSI approval on the glasses frame or lens.

4. Side and Top Shields

You might be tempted to think you can just simply wear your regular eyeglasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes, but that’s not a good idea. Safety glasses keep your eyes safe in two places that regular eyeglasses and sunglasses leave your eyes vulnerable.

Side and top shield protect objects and splashes from entering your eyes from the gap at the top of the lens near your eyebrow, and the open area on each side of your temple.

  • Side and top shields protect you from particles, objects, splashes, splatters, and spills that would easily transfer into your eye area if you were wearing normal glasses.
    • Essential for: Side and top shields are essential for healthcare workers, construction and manufacturing, yard work, and even household cleaning with chemicals that you don’t want in your eyes.

You might think the addition of side and top shields significantly impacts the stylistic appeal of your safety glasses, and you’d be right. That’s why we streamlined our Stoggles to keep them impeccably tasteful and ultimately protective.

5. Anti-Fog

Safety glasses that fog are more than annoying, they’re unsafe. When you have to remove your safety glasses to wipe them down, you expose your eyes to unsafe environments and allow the potential for eye injury.

Additionally, removing your glasses to wipe them takes you off task, which can lead to mistakes, missed time in the game, or an even worse injury.

  • Anti-fog glasses work by decreasing the surface tension of the water droplets that collect on your lenses, making it easy for you to see whether your glasses are impacted by your movement from hot to cold temperatures, exposure to steam, or just simply your own breath.
    • Essential for: Everyone. Seriously. No one doesn’t benefit from the inclusion of anti-fog coating on glasses. And unlike anti-fog wipes, which only offer a temporary solution to a permanent problem, anti-fog coating will give you years of protection without the need to ever remove your glasses and wipe them.

Anti-fog lenses aren’t standard on many brands of safety glasses, but they are on all Stoggles. We know the need to keep your glasses firmly on your face, which is why you’ll never have to remove Stoggles to wipe off the fog.

Stoggles: All-in-One Protection (That Looks Good, Too)

Let’s be honest: we all care about our appearance. No one wants to go to work or even do yard work with bulky, uncomfortable safety glasses. Nine times out of ten, you’ll opt to forgo the safety glasses and put your eyes at risk.

Stoggles exist to bring style and function together. All Stoggles glasses feature:

  • Anti-fog coating
  • Blue light blocking lenses
  • ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification
  • Side and top shields
  • UV blocking lenses
  • Superior style and comfort

Our glasses are so comfortable that you’ll probably find yourself reaching for them more than any other pair you own. With three different lens shapes, three different frame sizes, and numerous color options, it’s easy to fully customize your glasses just the way you want them.

Easy on the Eyes

You aren’t limited to the same safety goggles and glasses your parents wore, which makes it all the easier to protect your eyes from injury. Keep your eyes safe and your style on point. Stoggles give you the protection you need and the looks you love.

 

Sources:

Eye Safety | NIOSH | CDC

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

Eye Safety At-a-Glance Protecting Your Child's Vision in Sports

Research progress about the effect and prevention of blue light on eyes|NCBI

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