Safety glasses are necessary for most professionals in the medical field. Exposing your eyes regularly to radiation can have long-term or even irreversible effects. And leaving your eyes vulnerable to germs or pathogens can be deadly.
The reason many professionals end up shucking their protective eyewear, though, is because it can be bulky, uncomfortable, and even unattractive. But that’s not always the case. It might surprise you to know that many name brands you know and love actually make safety glasses in addition to other eye products. These include Oakley, Nike, and Ray-Ban, just to name a few.
Why do people need safety glasses?
If you work in the medical field, you already know how important it is to protect yourself from certain materials. Most medical professionals are at high risk of being exposed to bodily fluids such as blood and urine. This is especially true for lab technicians who handle these fluids daily in various methods of testing.
Germs from bodily fluids can enter the bloodstream in a number of ways: an open cut, the mouth, and the nose are all possibilities. While most people are aware of these dangers, it’s less commonly known that the eyes are on this list as well. You can catch colds, flu, HIV, or any number of dangerous illnesses through your eyes.
Most of the time, it’s because we pick up the germs with our hands, then rub our eyes. But in medical situations, it’s very feasible for fluids to be splashed onto someone’s face and enter the ocular cavity. At this point, these germs can enter the mucous membranes around the eyes and travel straight to the bloodstream.
The second reason medical professionals need safety glasses is for protection from radiation.
Eyewear like Oakley safety glasses protect your eyes from exposure to lasers, heat, or ultraviolet and infrared radiation.
The reason this is important is because prolonged exposure to radiation has been shown to increase the risk of cataracts and loss of eyesight. It can also cause temporary irritation, much like when you’re out in the sun too long.
Who needs safety glasses?
Of course, there are some medical professionals who may never use safety glasses. For example, administrators, secretaries, and other office personnel rarely come into contact with bodily fluids. However, anyone who works directly with patients is at risk.
One type of medical employee who almost always needs safety glasses is a laser technician. These professionals use lasers for things like hair and tattoo removal, along with other cosmetic procedures. Learn more about lasers and their uses to understand why safety should be your top priority during an operation.
Some other professionals who need safety glasses include nurses, physicians, radiology technicians, janitors, respiratory therapists, and surgical technicians.
How to protect your eyes at work
Safety glasses are an important part of every medical staff member’s PPE (personal protective equipment). Choosing the right ones are crucial to your protection. Safety goggles are available through most medical supply stores and may even be provided by your workplace.
But if you need them on a daily basis, it’s best to purchase a pair that fits you well and matches your prescription. These safety glasses should specifically protect you from radiation and provide a barrier from anything that might come in contact with your face.
In some professions, it’s also wise to wear face shields and masks to protect yourself even further. These are usually worn during surgeries or extreme emergencies. OSHA standards will dictate certain factors relating to all PPE. For example, they must fit properly and provide adequate protection. They also need to be replaced if they get scratched or badly damaged.