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How to Choose Medical Safety Glasses: Radiation Eyewear Buying Guide

By April 5, 2022September 27th, 2023No Comments

Whether exposure is for one minute or an entire day, medical safety eyewear should always be worn. To protect the eyes against exposure to hazardous radiation, it is of the utmost importance to invest in proper protective eyewear.

This guide from Barrier Technologies will serve to illuminate the best designs, potential defects, and general specifications to keep an eye out for when choosing the best protective glasses.

How to Recognize Medical Safety Eyewear?

Medical safety eyewear is not the same as regular, everyday glasses. While prescription options are available, the key difference is in the protection offered. The structure of the glasses can also differ in notable ways.


Protective eyewear, such as lead glasses, have stronger frames than everyday street glasses. The frames are made to last for many years of wear and tear in the workplace. Barrier Technologies frames are highly resistant to scratching and daily stress in addition to being ergonomically designed. Having an ergonomic design makes eyewear lightweight and more comfortable to wear for many hours.

Some medical eyewear models will include extra features, such as side vents to prevent fogging, rubber nose and earpieces to reduce slipping, or flexible nose pieces able to fit noses of all sizes.


Safety eyewear can be recognized by looking for certain markings as well. Usually, the manufacturer’s trademark will be added onto the glasses; it can be found on the frames. Locating the manufacturer’s trademark enables potential purchasers to guarantee the quality of the eyewear.

Safety eyewear can also offer varying levels of shade protection. Depending on the location of usage, it may be helpful to have safety eyewear options providing protection against the sun’s rays as well as radiation beams.

Another important feature typically included on safety eyewear is the logo of the agency that certified the glasses. All medical and radiation glasses will have certification verifying the level of protection offered.


The lenses of protective eyewear are the most important part. To protect against radiation and other dangerous exposure, the lenses need to be manufactured with the appropriate materials, such as UV filtering. A 0.75mm lead concentrate is recommended for radiation protection, as used by Barrier Technologies.

Lenses also benefit from having coatings that are resistant to glare, scratches, and yellowing over time. Tints, such as ones that act against UV, on lenses can improve visibility in assorted environments.

One of the most convenient advantages of ordering specialized safety glasses is the ability to add a prescription. Prescription safety eyewear is hugely beneficial for professionals wearing protective eyewear, making work easier and more comfortable.

Medical Safety Glasses vs. Regular Glasses

The main difference between protective eyewear and normal glasses is in the construction and structure. Protective eyewear is much stronger; it is able to resist scratching, lost pieces, and breaking for longer and under much more strenuous daily circumstances. Both the lenses and frames are built to last and be of service to working professionals and their clients.

Protecting against radiation and other harmful effects is invaluable. The eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, especially against radiation. Lead glasses offer protection that can guard against permanent damage such as cataracts and blindness.

How to Select the Proper Eye Protection

With a wide variety of protective glasses available, it can be difficult to determine what is most useful. Some factors to consider include potential safety hazards, types of eyewear and available lens materials, and individual preferences.

Know the Eye Safety Hazards

Being aware of the safety hazards most likely to be encountered will aid in choosing the right type of safety glasses. For example, lead glasses are undeniably the correct choice in protective eyewear against radiation exposure. Safety glasses for medical professionals will be lead glasses.

Risks posed by mechanical work, high temperatures, and chemical exposure are also serious factors to take into account. Depending on the environment of intended use, some frames and lenses may be more useful than others.

Know the Types of Safety Eyewear and Lens Materials

Not all protective eyewear is made using the same lens materials. Once the eye safety hazards have been determined, it is simpler to choose the appropriate lens material.

Some common options for lens materials are:

  • Polycarbonate. This is one of the most popular choices across various industries for protective glasses. It is lightweight (especially compared to normal glass), damage-resistant, and poses a strong defense against most ultraviolet rays.
  • NXT polyurethane (Trivex). NXT lenses are a type of lens that automatically adjust to different levels of light. Trivex lenses are made to be more durable and have extended longevity compared to earlier editions.
  • Acrylic. Acrylic is very lightweight and generally cheaper to produce.
  • Optical glass. A basic option for safety eyewear, it can be made to suit your needs.


Know Your Preferences

Besides knowing how protective eyewear will be used in detail, it is useful to clearly understand preferences. Since protective eyewear will likely be worn every day, glasses should be as comfortable and unnoticeable as possible.

Preferences to consider:

  • Lens coatings
  • Lens tints
  • Prescription safety glasses
  • Comfort and design


What You Should Look Out For

Extra care should be taken to avoid poor quality safety eyewear. Many models are made cheaply and therefore suffer from low quality frames and lenses. Bad quality lenses and frames make protective glasses not only uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time, but also pose risks. Protective eyewear, especially radiation lead glasses, need to be reliably made in order to properly shield against hazardous rays. If not, the potential negative effects are numerous and overwhelmingly permanent.

Checking the required maintenance is a relevant factor when making a decision to invest in protective eyewear. Most safety glasses, such as lead glasses, need to be stored in a dry, temperate place and should be generally handled with care.

Why You Should Wear Safety Glasses

Protective eyewear is not optional. Once the eyes have sustained damage, it cannot be undone. Some of the risks of exposing the eyes to radiation or other hazards are: blurred vision, cataracts, bleeding, glaucoma, or blindness.

Barrier Technologies Protective Eyewear

Barrier Technologies provides protective glasses to a multitude of industries, such as medical, veterinary, nuclear, dental, and defense. As experts in safety eyewear, every pair of protective glasses is made with superior quality. If you have any questions, please contact our friendly team of professionals today!