Protect Yourself at Work with Radiation Safety Glasses
Radiologists and fluoroscope technicians regularly protect themselves from harmful radiation with leaded vests, aprons, and gloves. Unfortunately, their eyes were often overlooked until recently. Early onset cataracts and other eye problems are extremely common in medical professionals who work with radiation. Some start experiencing problems in their early 30’s! Fortunately, combating these terrible eye issues is easy with radiation safety glasses. Europe and several other developed nations immediately created laws to combat this workplace problem, but the United States does not require this essential piece of safety equipment.
If your work environment requires repeated exposure to x-rays or other types of radiation, it’s important to choose a high quality pair of radiation safety glasses, even if safety glasses aren’t listed in the policies. You’ll prevent serious eye problems that could lead to blindness. Who needs these safety glasses, and which radiation safety glasses are right for you?
Who needs radiation safety glasses?
If you’re repeatedly exposed to x-rays, you need radiation safety glasses. Doctors and technicians who work with a fluoroscope benefit greatly from this piece of safety equipment. Some hospitals in the US require radiation safety glasses for certain workers as part of their policy, and radiology technicians in Europe must wear them to comply with the law. Regular glasses do not protect you from radiation, so it’s essential to have the right protective gear.
A variety of occupations require these safety glasses. Catheter and urology lab employees, orthopedic surgeons, veterinarians, and even some pain management doctors should use radiation safety glasses.
How do radiation safety glasses work?
Experts use special radiation safety glass to manufacture radiation lenses. Protection levels are equal to a lead sheet 0.75 mm thick. They attenuate x-ray radiation that passes through the lens, preventing ocular exposure. This protects your eyes from cataracts and other vision problems caused by radiation.
Since most vision issues result from cumulative exposure to radiation, it’s important to protect your eyes every time you’re exposed. Even professionals who only perform radiology and fluoroscopy procedures occasionally need ocular protection.
Because the materials used to keep the glass clear while providing protection from radiation are so specialized, normal lenses don’t provide the necessary protection. Wear radiation safety glasses in addition to your normal glasses or contact lenses.
How do I choose the right pair of radiation safety glasses?
Several important factors determine the effectiveness and comfort of your safety glasses. Read this easy guide to find out which pair is right for you.
- Light transmission
- Lead is often used to help these glasses attenuate radiation. Unfortunately, this limits light transmission. If too little light makes it through the lens, it’s difficult to correctly perform various procedures. Look for lenses that advertise more light transmission without sacrificing protection.
- Frame style
- Choosing the right frame style for your work depends on your current vision conditions, frequency of use, and lifestyle. There are many frame options on the market for glasses that improve safety without slowing you down.
- First, think about your own vision. Do you wear contacts or glasses regularly? Regular frames work if you don’t wear glasses or wear contacts every day. If you wear glasses daily, consider fit-over frames or goggles to protect your eyes. You won’t even need to take your glasses off!
- Next, think about your work. Are you constantly in and out of a radiation room? Do you work with equipment that exposes you to radiation from varying angles? If you work with a lot of radiation or want additional protection, consider a face shield. These are easy to take on and off, and you can wear them over your glasses or with contacts as needed. If you only occasionally perform procedures that expose you to radiation, standard frames are a good choice.
- Finally, consider your lifestyle. Do you want prescription lenses that you can wear all day at work? Would wraparound frames work better as you rush from one task to another? What’s most comfortable for the amount of time you’ll wear these safety goggles? These question should guide you to a choice that fits your individual needs.
- Look for glasses that provide the same protection as a 0.75 mm layer of lead. This prevents radiation from entering your eyes and is available from most companies. Don’t settle for less – it isn’t worth the damage to your eyes.
- Choose a pair of radiation safety glasses that provides a good warranty. Companies that make quality products back their work, so look for a business that stands behind their product. The best companies provide a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects.
- Weight and fit
- Older lens styles fit poorly and were often heavy. Professionals are more likely to skip uncomfortable safety equipment and ill-fitting lenses. Choose lightweight frames that fit well and don’t put added pressure on your nose or ears. Newer styles look great and come in lightweight designs that are comfortable for everyone.
It’s essential to protect your eyesight, especially if you work with radiation. Doctors, medical technicians and other professionals who work with this technology benefit from fewer eye problems and clearer vision when they wear radiation safety lenses. Even if your company doesn’t specifically require this safety equipment, you’ll save thousands of dollars on cataract surgery and other eye problems by using this effective precaution. Want more information on how this technology works and whether it’s right for you? Contact us today to learn more about radiation safety glasses.