Prescription Safety Glasses Explained

Modern prescription safety glasses look far better than the old-fashioned, ugly glasses that people used to hate wearing. Safety glasses can now look very similar to the everyday glasses that you’re used to wearing, and they can be just as comfortable.

Prescription safety glasses can also be bifocal or trifocal if required by the wearer. Reading glasses are available for those who need to do close-up work in safety. Most users prefer safety glasses to safety goggles because they have difficulty with fogging, but goggles are still essential for some purposes.

Unlike ordinary glasses, safety specification glasses must have a high resistance to impact. Shatter-resistant plastic lenses are generally used in safety glasses. Polycarbonate lenses are now pretty much standard and these lenses have greater impact resistance and a lighter weight than previous kinds of lenses. Polycarbonate is flexible and this helps it to withstand impact well.

However, some wearers are unhappy with the clarity of vision that they get from polycarbonate lenses. The newer Trivex lenses, while more expensive, offer greater clarity and impact resistance in a thin lens.

Safety glasses can be made to almost any prescription. Prescription safety glasses can also be tinted, if required, both for safety reasons and for personal taste in fashion. Prescription sun glasses are, of course, widely available.

There are many type of prescription safety glasses, the most common ones being:

  • Military use
  • Industrial safety
  • Motorcycling
  • Racing
  • Fishing and other Sports
  • Computer use
  • Swimming

Other prescription eye protectors, that aren’t really under the heading of prescription safety glasses are:

  • Swim goggles
  • Scuba masks – yes, they are available with prescription lenses!
  • Snorkel masks – as above
  • Motorcycle goggles – also used in hang gliding

Bifocal safety glasses have been around for some time, often with the reading part of the lens available without prescription. However, even if these glasses are available in your area, it’s always wise to have your eyesight checked by a professional.

The frames of prescription safety glasses can be made of plastic or metal. This includes the excellent (and expensive) titanium frames. Wrap around styles are widely available, and are often a requirement in some industries. However, rimless safety frames are also popular because of the reduced weight and also for reasons of style.

It is possible to buy safety frames and fit your own safety lenses or have them fitted for you. This option allows you to fully customize your safety glasses. A word of caution, if you are thinking of doing that: if safety lenses are put in ordinary frames then you haven’t got real safety glasses. The frames must also be safety rated.

Plain lens safety glasses that fit over your normal glasses are a cheap option, though very acceptable in some circumstances. You can also wear contact lenses under standard safety glasses but some people find this very uncomfortable. Much depends on the wearer when opting for the simpler and cheaper solutions.

Almost any color of frame is available, as also are many colors of tinted lenses. Women’s safety glasses can often be found in the latest fashion styles. The days of one style suits all are far behind us.

Your safety glasses should be light and comfortable, especially if you will be wearing them for lengthy periods of time. Be sure your safety glasses fit well or they will quickly become uncomfortable. Uncomfortable safety glasses are likely to be removed at the worst possible moment, so be safe at all times. Safety frames often include nose pads and bridges that can be adjusted by the wearer and these additions can make the difference between glasses that are pleasant to wear and ones you find uncomfortable.

Side shields, of both a permanent and a temporary fixing nature are available for some safety glasses. Other accessories, such as tiny attachable lights, can be found for most glasses.

Having invested in a pair of prescription safety glasses, be sure to get the full value from them by keeping them clean. A wipe over with a damp cloth is not usually good enough. For the best results, follow the cleaning instructions given by the manufacturer.

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