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Eyeglasses That Do the Job

Eyeglasses for Different Activities continued...

Driving. Eyeglasses for driving may be:

  • Special "driving sunglasses" with polarized (partially light-blocking) lenses
  • Prescription eyeglasses with both your lens prescription for distance vision and an anti-reflective coating

Reading. Reading glasses are a good choice for people with presbyopia. This eye condition develops with aging -- usually in your 40s. You might notice that your arms aren't long enough to read up close anymore. Glasses that correct presbyopia are also good for close-up hobbies, too.

Available without a prescription, cheap, one-size-fits-all, single-distance styles can be found in pharmacies and department stores. Some people can't use these because of headaches or eyestrain. For them, prescription eyeglasses for reading are best.

Eyeglasses alert! Never buy nonprescription reading glasses as a substitute for seeing your eye doctor. Regular eye exams check more than your vision. They also check the ongoing health of your eyes.

Sports. Some 90% of sports-related injuries are preventable with use of protective eyewear. These include:

  • Sports goggles with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, commonly used for playing basketball, baseball/softball (on the field), field hockey, women's lacrosse, racquet sports, and soccer
  • Polycarbonate shields (or wire face guards), used, for example, in baseball/softball (batting) and football

Eyeglasses alert! Don't wear your everyday eyeglasses when you play sports. "Regular" eyeglasses don't meet sports eyewear's higher safety standards and neither do contact lenses or safety eyewear used in industry. Ask your eye doctor's advice about sports eye protection.

At work. Eye injuries can happen at any workplace. Industries where they are most common include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining

Government standards require employers to evaluate the workplace for possible eye hazards and provide equipment -- including appropriate protective eyewear -- and surroundings to ensure that any such hazards are minimized or eliminated.

To meet the government standards, all protective eyewear must have "Z87" or "Z87+" (the "+" indicates safety eyewear with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses) marked on the frame and sometimes on the lens as well.

All safety eyewear should be comfortable to wear as well as properly fitted. Types of safety eyewear may include:

  • Goggles, which are more impact resistant than safety glasses
  • Safety glasses with side protection/shields
  • Face shields, including welding helmets
  • Full-face respirators incorporating face shields

At home. Protective eyewear can help prevent eye injury from many hazards around the house. These include:

  • Household chemicals
  • Workshop activities
  • Gardening and lawn work
  • Car repair or maintenance tasks

In any situation where you injure your eye(s), get medical attention immediately.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on April 27, 2012

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