Safety glasses can save your eyesight when the unexpected happens. But some might wonder if wearing Z87 glasses can harm their eyesight, given the often-required long hours spent behind them.
Safety glasses will not harm your eyesight, no matter how long you wear them.
There is, however, the possibility of safety glasses causing some discomfort of the eyes and head. This is most common with less expensive safety glasses.
Tight-fitting frames, poor optical quality of the lenses and the wrong tint to properly filter sunlight are commonplace among cheap safety glasses. And all these design and construction issues can contribute to eye strain and fatigue.
According to Johns Hopkins, the symptoms of eye strain can include:
- Red, watery, irritated eyes
- Tired, aching or heavy eyelids
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid
- Inability to keep eyes open
If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be due to wearing subpar safety glasses with uncomfortable frames and poor lens quality. While these glasses will not harm your sight in the long run, these short-term symptoms can be a nuisance–and can even lead to unsafe practices, like taking them off during tasks or not wearing them throughout the day altogether.
How to Avoid Eye Strain and Fatigue When Wearing Safety Glasses
- Take a break - Sometimes eye strain can simply be caused by overworking your eyes. If your eyes are feeling irritated or a headache is sneaking up on you, take 10 minutes to rest your vision. Move into a work environment with opposite lighting conditions to let your eyes rest from excessively bright (or even dark) conditions.
- Use artificial tears - Dry eyes? Using over-the-counter eyedrops can help lubricate your eyes and reduce the irritation that can come along with dryness. Some dusty environments, like jobsites, can contribute to dry eyes, so it can be handy to keep a bottle of liquid tears close by.
- Wear properly-fitting safety glasses - Safety glasses come in different shapes and sizes. For those with larger heads, XL safety glasses may help reduce discomfort from too-tight frames. Others may benefit from safety glasses with forgiving temples. It’s a good idea to measure the width between your temples so you can buy safety glasses that are snug, but not tight. The best safety glasses online should have measurements that accompany product descriptions.
- Choose the Right Lens for the Task - Clear or yellow-tinted lenses are great for most indoor work, but in order to avoid eye strain in brighter conditions choose safety glasses with smoke or mirrored lenses. And if you’re working on a roof or around reflective surfaces, such as tin, concrete or glass, polarized sunglasses will be your new best friend. Whether you choose tinted or polarized lenses, having a good pair of work sunglasses in your toolbox is vital to reduce eye strain and discomfort.
- Wear Quality Safety Glasses - The lenses of cheap safety glasses can often cause visual distortion. Safety glass lenses are made of a compound called polycarbonate. This material is naturally impact resistant and transparent (transparent, that is, unless it’s treated with polarization or a tint). It’s a perfect material for use in safety glass lenses because of its natural strength, but not all polycarbonate is the same. Less expensive safety glasses manufacturers often don’t taper the thickness of the material properly. These inexpensive lenses may result in a “Coke bottle effect,” causing images in the viewing field to shift side-to-side or up and down. Unfortunately, some employers who are required to provide safety glasses to their employees choose disposable or cheap eyewear that can be subject to this visual distortion that can contribute to eye strain. If your eyewear causes things in the viewing field to shift, change to a quality pair of safety glasses.
What Sets Edge Safety Glasses Apart?
We started in 1998 with a simple mission: to question everything about safety glasses and reinvent the status quo. We showed the world that safety eyewear could, and should, be better. We pioneered polarized safety glasses, introduced a permanent anti-fog technology and upped the ante in the style department. And we continue to construct all of our safety glasses and work sunglasses out of the best materials, while including smart frame features to improve comfort and wearability.
But our restless imagination and determination to disrupt continues to drive us for more. Because needs are always changing, we’re always innovating. This is what keeps us up at night. We’re committed to delivering uncompromising safety and lifestyle eyewear. To us, uncompromising means not having to choose between designer styles and impact protection. It means not asking for too much for our products. To us, uncompromising means providing total peace of mind.