The time to decide what safety glasses you need for your job isn’t when you’re lugging around equipment on a job site filled with eye-related perils; it’s now. While you’re perusing the net and wondering about important subjects (like why ear hair becomes a more pervasive problem with age), you’ve got a great opportunity to study up on eye safety.
Whether you’re relaxing on the couch, sitting on a train during your commute, or taking a mental health break at your desk, we’ll give you the scoop on why eye protection matters. We’ll also cover the aspects every pair of safety glasses should have and clue you in and which ones work best for both indoor and outdoor use.
At Stoggles, we know eyes, and we’re all in on protective eyewear that also looks first-rate. Of course, all safety eyewear is protective; that’s standard and expected. But why do ordinary when you can do extraordinary?
Stoggles help keep you on the safe side, but the fashion aspect helps you walk on the wild side. Our secret sauce is that we take both style and comfort very seriously. Let’s be honest — you’re more likely to wear them if you like how you look and how you feel. Not to brag, but basically, we’re the glow-up of eye wear.
Get ready because we’re about to drop some knowledge on you.
Why Eye Safety Matters
When you get sick, an antibiotic and/or a few days of rest are enough to help you feel better. If you break a bone, a cast will help it heal properly. Scrapes on your skin? They’ll be like new in a few days time.
The same damage-and-heal cycle, however, doesn’t apply to your eyes. Your eyes are highly intricate organs that contain specialized cells. These cells, located in the retina, are able to convert light into electrical signals which can be delivered to the brain. The brain, in turn, tells us what we see by interpreting these electrical signals.
Retinal cells are the only cells in your body that can convert light to electrical signals. Unlike skin cells or numerous other cells in your body that have the superpower of regeneration, once a retinal cell is damaged or destroyed, it doesn’t come back.
This means that you not only have a limited number of retinal cells but that each of them is massively important to your ability to see. While fish and frogs have retinal cells that can regrow, we humans have yet to develop this amphibious ability.
Why Indoor Eye Protection Is Important
If you work as a machinist or find yourself routinely in contact with bloodborne pathogens, you already know the importance of indoor eye protection. For the person who works at a desk or possibly works from home (or both), the need for eye protection may seem less pressing.
Consider this: Most professions that involve the use of a computer require us to be in front of a screen for hours at a time. When we go home, we’re again exposed to screens, whether we’re watching a show, catching up on emails, or scrolling through social media accounts on our smartphones.
The average American spends over nine hours per day in front of a screen. These screens emit valuable information, mind-numbing entertainment, and a ton of blue light can enter the eye and hit the retina.
Researchers aren’t sure how much damage blue light will do to our eyes in the long run, but they are concerned with the sheer amount of blue light exposure we’re getting. Unlike UV rays, which may only affect our vision when we are outdoors periodically, our exposure to blue light is around every corner of our lives, from work to play.
Computer Vision Syndrome
In addition to potential long-term damage, blue light also affects the way our eyes focus and function on a daily basis. If you’ve ever left work feeling tired, achy, and like your eyes are moving around in bone-dry sockets, you’re probably familiar with the acute effects of blue light exposure.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition that causes us to blink less. Blinking is what our eyes do to stay lubricated and comfortable. When you focus on a screen, you naturally blink less than you do if you are looking at other materials.
Also referred to as digital eye strain, this condition can result in:
- Dry eyes
- Watery eyes
- Red, irritated eyes
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Feeling fatigued
- Blurry vision or having trouble focusing
Experts recommend taking regular breaks from your computer screen to help ensure you’re blinking enough and avoiding as many of these symptoms as possible. While you’re staring out into the middle distance contemplating an existential crisis, we recommend wearing a pair of blue light-blocking safety specs to further protect your eyes.
Why Outdoor Eye Protection Is Important
It’s a little easier to understand the need for outdoor eye protection because most of us use some form of it every day. Sunglasses, the most common form of outdoor eye protection, protect you from sun blindness, that annoying phenomenon that occurs when you forget your glasses while outdoors and then step back inside and attempt to focus.
The Truth About UV Rays
Ultraviolet rays (both UVA and UVB rays) are damaging to your eyes. Just like your skin needs sunscreen to avoid a burn, your eyes need UV protection to avoid sun damage, too.
UV rays have the ability to reach the retina and damage retinal cells. The macula, a structure inside the retina that is responsible for finely detailed vision, can be damaged by UV rays, a condition known as macular degeneration.
Aside from long-term damage, acute eye conditions can occur and make it a literal nightmare for you to exist comfortably. Photokeratitis, for example, is a condition that affects the cornea. If you’ve ever forgotten your sun protection while skiing or snowboarding, you’ve probably had it.
This condition can cause you to experience:
- Itching, burning, and irritation
- Trouble seeing and, in some cases, temporary blindness
- Discomfort, like having sand or grit in your eye
- Excessive tearing
While photokeratitis usually goes away on its own, it can be impossible to focus on work or tasks while you have it, and it may even require a trip to the eye doctor for complete healing.
Strikes and Scrapes
No matter what you’re doing outdoors, there’s probably a chance your eyes could get injured. Eye injuries occur at a rate of about 800,000 annually, with about half happening at work and half happening at home. The majority of these injuries occur outside due to strikes and scrapes from flying debris.
At work, your employer has probably stressed the importance of eye safety and likely issued you a pair of safety glasses. At home, there are very few weekend warriors that remember to wear safety eyewear while doing yard work, cleaning with chemicals, or tackling a weekend project.
Safety glasses need impact resistance, and the gold standard for impact resistance is the ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification. Eyewear that has this certification has undergone two make-or-break tests:
- High mass impact resistance. Eyewear is tested to resist the weight of a steel ball bearing dropped directly on the lens.
- High-velocity impact test. When eyewear meets this standard, it won’t shatter or break when struck with a steel ball bearing fired on the lens at high speed.
Sure, the glasses your employer gave you might work, but do you really want to trust your eyes to the same people who think 30 minutes is enough time to eat lunch?
The Best Indoor/Outdoor Use Safety Glasses
You know the reasons you need safety glasses that protect you indoors and outdoors; now it's time to meet the players. High-quality safety eyewear that is hybrid and can protect your eyes both indoors and outdoors is key to ensuring compliance (aka, you’re actually wearing the eyewear) and safety.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for indoor/outdoor safety glasses:
You know you need it, but you may not realize you can get it without a dark tint. Stoggles, for instance, are created from polycarbonate material, which is naturally UV-blocking. This means you can protect your eyes even on cloudy days or indoors if you’re exposed to UV light from machines or welding arcs.
Blue Light Blocking Lenses
It’s 2022: There’s really no reason why any safety eyewear shouldn’t come standard with blue light-blocking technology. Similar to how UV-blocking technology works, blue light-blocking glasses filter out harmful blue light from computers, tablets, LED televisions, and smartphones and protect your eyes while you work.
Just so you know, all Stoggles have blue light-blocking technology crafted right into the lenses because we believe in eye safety in every environment. This means it's almost impossible for it to scratch off or erode over time. This is what makes Stoggles blue-light lenses a notch above the rest.
Most other blue-light glasses are actually done via a coating — this external treatment is what wears off over time. We love how erosion formed the Grand Canyon but don’t love the effect when it’s in our specs.
Foggy lenses can happen both indoors and outdoors. When your glasses fog, you’ll naturally remove them to wipe them off. Of course, it’s annoying, but it’s also not a smart idea. In the few moments that your glasses are off your face, you’re exposed to hazards that could impact your vision permanently, all because your glasses fogged.
Stoggles eyewear features lenses that have a special anti-fogging treatment. This treatment changes the way water vapor collects on the surface of your lenses and effectively breaks the surface tension, which is a science-y way of saying your glasses won’t fog and your eyes will stay safe.
Plus, we spend a lot of time (like, a lot, a lot) creating the perfect anti-fog formula. Our lenses hold up well against alcohol and hot water vapor (normally, any other anti-fog coating would wipe right off the lenses with enough exposure).
Side and Top Shields
Standard eyeglasses and sunglasses can leave gaps in protection, like the space above your eyes, near your eyebrows, and across your temples. Wraparound frames seem like a good solution, but they don’t protect the tops of your eyes, and they can cause a funhouse mirror effect on your vision.
It’s a design flaw — both on glasses and evolution. You see, most wraparound glasses are designed to be spherical; our heads are not spherical but more like rounded cubes. This makes wraparound glasses sit further away from the face, leaving a ton of space on the top and bottom as well as the sides and can usually feel wider than regular glasses.
If you wear prescription lenses, the warped look is even more pronounced. A better option is streamlined side and top shields with enhanced clarity. These shields are fastened to the sides of the arms and lenses to help offer protection without distorting the way you see the world.
Safety glasses that aren’t shatter-resistant are just regular glasses. Impact resistance is key to eye protection, and you’ll find that all Stoggles carry the industry standard ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification.
This means your eyes are safe whether you’re working on a construction site or just attempting to outdo your neighbor’s edging.
Eye Safety Inside and Out
Your eyes are made of specialized cells that can change light into electrical signals that your brain interprets as vision. These cells don’t renew, so it’s critical to protect them as much as possible to ensure you keep your eyesight.
Stoggles offer protection that is effective both indoors and out, and we offer it in a sleek design that you’ll actually want to wear (and take tons of cute pics in).
Plus, with glasses that are stylish and comfortable, you’ll never feel the need to take them off — safety for every hour of the day when you’re not sleeping or showering.
Protection and provocative style? You’ve got it when you trust your eyes to Stoggles.