Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 05, 2023

What Are X-ray Eye Protection Glasses? | Who Should Wear Them, and Why?

Your eyesight is very important and is something you should guard jealously. Once lost, it is very difficult, and often impossible, to regain your sight. This is why, if you do any kind of work or activity that can cause harm to your eyes, wearing X-ray eye protection glasses is very important.

One of the greatest sources of danger to your eyes is radiation. When handling or working close to products that contain or emit X-ray radiation or ionizing radiation, it is important to wear a pair of safety glasses that shields the eyes and keeps them safe.

If you are wondering what radiation safety glasses are, and why you might need to consider buying yourself a pair, read on to find out the answers to all that and more.

What Are X-ray Eye Protection Glasses?

X-ray protection glasses are simply a kind of protective eyewear made of material that allows visible light to pass through while stopping any form of harmful radiation from reaching your eyes. In short, the lens on a pair of radiation safety glasses shields your eye lens from radiation.

Radiation protective glasses go by many names, such as:

  • X-Ray glasses
  • Radiation protection glasses
  • Radiation protective eyewear
  • Radiation glasses
  • Lead glasses
  • Radiation safety glasses/ eyewear
  • Leaded eyewear
  • Radiation eyewear
  • X-ray eyewear

The name usually depends on the particular industry in which the radiation glasses are being used and the particular form of radiation that is being guarded against. However, regardless of the name, x-ray protective eyewear all works in the same way.

Three Common Styles of Radiation Glasses

When it comes to how X-ray protection glasses are designed, three common types are available, which are:

1. Wraparound Lead Glasses

As the name suggests, these types of X-ray protective safety glasses are designed to wrap around the head to provide as much eye protection as possible without the need for side shields.

While the curve is a great feature of these X-ray protective safety glasses, it does create limitations in terms of prescription lead glasses because they are not always available in this design.

2. Semi-wraparound Lead Glasses

The semi-wraparound radiation glasses are also curved but are not designed to fit as snuggly around the head as complete wraparound glasses. When using these to protect the eyes from radiation and X-ray emissions, it is advisable to use lead side shields as well. However, you will find a lot more prescription radiation glasses with this option.

3. Flat Lead Glasses

Flat radiation glasses only provide frontal protection, meaning any X-ray radiation that comes in from the sides can still reach the eye and cause damage. When wearing flat radiation glasses, having side shields is a requirement to ensure complete protection.

Who Should Wear Radiation Safety Glasses?

Radiation is all around us, and we are exposed to it every day of our lives. What matters is the type of radiation and the level we are exposed to. In ordinary circumstances, you do not need to walk around wearing radiation glasses.

However, everyone working in an environment known to produce higher-than-normal levels of radiation needs to wear radiation safety glasses.

This means, for example, if you are a radiologist who is exposed to X-ray beams every day, you need to invest in a good pair of radiation glasses to keep your eyes safe.

Also, patients undergoing procedures that require the use of X-ray radiation need to be given lead glasses. Even short exposure to radiation can severely damage the eyes. If you are ever in such an environment, consider investing in Phillips safety products with a proper lead equivalence value (lead mm pb) for your safety.

How Does Radiation Harm Your Eyes?

Long-term exposure to even very low levels of radiation can result in the formation of cataracts in the eyes, which, if left unchecked, will eventually lead to blindness. Often, people may be exposed to such radiation by working close to medical products without wearing any protection.

Higher levels of radiation can cause permanent damage to the eyes at a much faster rate. The radiation emitted, for example, during the testing of nuclear weapons, is capable of causing blindness even when viewed from a great distance.

Choosing the Right Radiation Glasses

It is very important that, whenever you come across a new medical product or piece of equipment, you consider the radiation it is likely to emit and take steps to safeguard yourself.

Usually, this means wearing a lead apron, lead glasses, and any other product that will shield you from harmful radiation. When choosing the type of radiation glasses, consider the following:

  • Type of Glasses

Wraparound glasses will provide you with better protection, but you have a lot more prescription choices if you go for the flat front lead glasses. Usually, if you are buying in bulk, for example, for a group of employees, you do not have to worry about prescriptions so you can buy the more effective wraparound products.

  • Lead Equivalency

Your new glasses will come with a lead equivalency rating, which determines the amount of radiation you can safely come into contact with when wearing that product. Make sure you wear the right glasses, otherwise, you will be risking your eyesight each time you come into contact with radiation sources.

  • Nature of Work

If the type of work you do requires a pair of snuggly fitting glasses that are not likely to fall off, consider buying wraparound glasses. The last thing you want is for your glasses to fall off at the wrong moment and allow radiation to get into contact with your eyes.

  • Price

Like all medical products, different brands and types will come with different prices. Buy the safety glasses that are within your budget without compromising on their safety. Also, consider the return policy on the glasses so that should you be unhappy with your new products, you can return them for a new pair or a refund.

Protect Your Eyesight with Proper Radiation Glasses When Necessary

Harmful radiation is not something you should take lightly. If your work puts you at risk, take the right steps today and invest in effective X-ray eye protection glasses.

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