Radiation safety is a big concern for your health. The eyes are among the most sensitive areas of the body and are exposed the most. Wearing leaded eyewear is just as important as wearing a lead apron
Anyone working with radiation on a daily basis already knows that is the case. Your employer organisation typically emphasises safety as key from day one of your employment or even before. It is a joke that many hospitals and other medical organisations do not provide lead glasses to their medical staff despite the evidence of radiation causing harm to the body and eyes when unprotected. Generally the hospitals provide lead aprons to protect the body. However, lead glasses are usually not part of the compulsory radiation protection outfit. In many cases, medical staff just do not wear lead glasses (because they are simply not provided) or they have to buy them individually out of their own pocket.
Your eyes are among the most sensitive areas of your body, and when you work with radiation, also tend to be the most exposed. Wearing leaded eyewear is just as important as wearing a lead apron.
But do you know just what type of radiation eyewear works best to make sure you actually get the safety you need? Finding the right eyewear is crucial to making sure that you do not permanently damage your sight.
Follow the next 6 steps to find the right radiation safety glasses, and go to work knowing that you’re well protected against any potential harm.
1) Understand Your Exact Needs
To find the right lead glasses, it requires a good understanding of your radiation exposure which defines which model of lead glasses give you the best protection. Therefore, the exact exposure to potential radiation is crucial: if it is only straight ahead, you might be able to use different glasses than if the radiation comes from multiple angles.
You might work in a cath lab, fluoroscopy, or other medical and non-medical fields. A wide range of professionals, from dental hygienists, all the way to airplane pilots, require protection from radiation. How strong that protection needs to be will define the type of eyewear you are looking for. The best way to find out about your exposure is to speak with your supervisor or a safety expert.
Other factors may also include the fit and the weight of the lead glasses which contribute to your comfort. For example, in the Catheter Lab you will most likely wear radiation eyewear for long periods of time, so you may choose the lighter lead glasses.
2) Know the Terminology and Materials Available
Next it is important to gain a good understanding of the nuances that comes with buying any type of radiation safety gear. That, in turns, means knowing exactly what the various technical terms mean, and how they apply to eyewear. The right material can also make a difference.
Traditionally, for example, lead protects from radiation. Of course, that comes with its own hazards, especially for eyewear. That is why you will see lead equivalency ratings (e.g. 0.75mm Pb) for materials that approximate the same results in a similar way. Inform yourself about your needs in technical terms thoroughly before actually buying glasses.
There are also different Radiation Safety Levels. For instance, there is Radiation Eyewear that provides only front protection via the use of leaded lenses which may be suited if you are occasionally exposed to x-rays. There is Radiation Eyewear that provides protection through the front via leaded lenses and the side via leaded shields. These type of glasses should be worn in an environment where x-rays are all around you all the time (e.g. in catheter labs).
3) Search for Potential Radiation Eyewear
Once you understand your needs, it is time to start looking for any and all radiation glasses you might be able to find. That alone will help you gain a better understanding of what your options are, and what price range you can expect. Most of your solutions will be through online vendors. Many of them will ‘sell’ their radiation eyewear without providing much consultation, but all credible vendors will be reasonably honest about specifications. That is because they usually know as much as you do: radiation protection is a critical component of safety.
4) Narrow Your Search to Your Needs and Choose the More Credible Merchant
Once you have a general and broad understanding of your options, begin to narrow your search. The criteria that once again becomes most important here are the needs you have defined in the first step.
For example, your specific situation may include radiation hazards from all around you (e.g. catheter labs). In that case, radiation eyewear with front and side protection make more sense. But if the radiation is only light and comes from straight ahead, radiation glasses with only front protection may be able to do the trick.
Now, it’s time to compare each piece of eyewear according to the merchant you would buy it from.
Vendor credibility is absolutely crucial in the field of radiation safety. Look for merchants that educate you about the specifics of the lead glasses and offer product trials to find out about the true weight and fit of the chosen eyewear. Also look for client reviews on third-party websites, as well as request testimonials that can speak to other customers in your situation successfully working through and with the merchant.
5) Understand Customisations and Add-Ons
Based on the previous steps, you are able to select a pair of radiation safety glasses uniquely suited to your needs that looks primed to hold its promise. Now, it is time to add the exact customisations you need to make it the perfect fit for you.
Above all, that means anti-fog coating of lenses and potential prescription lenses. Find a merchant specialising in prescription glasses to make sure you can accomplish that goal. At the same time, make sure that you never choose anything that compromises the actual quality of your glasses.
Custom engraving is another feature that you may be interested in. It can be helpful to have you name engraved on your frame.
6) Test and Move ahead with your Purchase
Now once you made up your mind what lead glasses you like to order, test them. Only few merchants offer product trials to find out about the true weight and fit of the chosen eyewear. Find out which merchant offers free home-try-on trials and test them. That means you have the time to make sure that they are actually comfortable on your eyes, and can help you see clearly without bothering you at your work.
Also, the right merchant will have a generous returns policy. That means you can double-check if your lead glasses of choice are perfect for you and your needs. That way, you never even have the temptation of taking them off, which could prove fatal the one time you forget to put them back on again.
With these six steps, you can buy lead glasses specifically designed to protect against radiation that hold their promise. The next time you go to work, you will feel safer knowing that your eyes will be protected against any potential radiation hazards.