Preventing Power Tool Eye Injuries

According to the 2009 Eye Injury Snapshot Project done by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than one in five of the eye injuries that occur at home are caused by home repair or power tools. The most common place for the injuries to occur is the yard or garden.

Some of us older DIYers require reading glasses or bifocals in order to perform close-up work. If your regular glasses don’t contain “shatter-proof” lenses, you are not fully protected. Safety glasses designed to be worn over regular prescription glasses do offer protection, but they’re heavy and uncomfortable to wear.

Did you know that safety glasses are available with the magnification built right in? I recently heard about them from a colleague and searched for them on the Web. There are many brands and configurations available, but first you need to determine what magnification you need. Have your eyes tested one at a time to determine the proper “power” you need. This is measured in diopters and takes the form of “+1.5, +2.0, etc.” Use the diopter number from your weakest eye, which will be the higher number.

The safety glasses I ordered have padded ends over the ears for comfort. They cost about $12, plus $5 for shipping. Consider more than one pair, such as dark lenses for use outside. Buying a second pair won’t affect the shipping price much. Be safe and protect your eyes: you won’t regret it!

--Jim Boyle, field editor