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Understanding Radiation Lead Glasses

By April 10, 2023October 24th, 2023No Comments

Radiation lead glasses protect your vulnerable eyes from harmful exposure. These delicate organs are four times more sensitive than other body parts. Over time, radiation doses accumulate and can cause early-onset cataracts, eye cancers, and other diseases. Such avoidable conditions are potentially blinding!

Specialized eyewear is essential to radiologic professionals who work with x-rays and other forms of ionizing radiation daily. Wear quality protective lead radiation glasses to perform your duties safely without fear of long-term problems. If you work in a cath lab, interventional radiology, or a similar environment, then this article is for you.


Why It’s Important to Wear Radiation Lead Glasses

Eyes contain highly specialized structures and cells that are found nowhere else in the body. These can’t be repaired or replaced by cellular regeneration. The two most important tissues are the lens and the retina—if damaged, your vision will deteriorate. Unfortunately, too many healthcare workers underestimate the risk of permanent damage to their eyes. Studies demonstrate that half of all interventional cardiologists develop cataracts.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommends that the lens of the eye receive no more radiation than 20 mSv per year, averaged over 5 years, with an upper limit of 50 mSv in any given year. By comparison, 20 mSv is equivalent to just two abdominal CT scans!

Shielding is one of the three components of the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) Principle of Radiation. The function of leaded glasses is to attenuate radiation before it reaches your eyes, preventing any irreparable damage.


How Radiation Can Affect Your Vision

Ionizing radiation-induced diseases can be insidious. They may only manifest months to years after exposure. Here are a few of them, and their symptoms:


Ophthalmic Diseases Induced by Ionizing Radiation
Disease Symptoms
Radiation-induced cataracts Lens clouding, blurred/dim vision, glare sensitivity.
Cancerous lesions and tumors A growing dark spot, change in pupil shape, poor/blurry vision, peripheral vision loss, “floaters”.
Radiation-induced neovascular glaucoma Enophthalmos (sunken eye), dryness, elevated intraocular pressure.
Radiation retinopathy Microaneurysms, retinal hemorrhage, “cotton wool” spots.
Radiation-induced optic neuropathy Progressive vision loss, pale optic disc or disc edema.
Retinal angiopathy Pathological changes in capillaries and arteries of the eye.


Consult your doctor or an ophthalmologist if you experience:

  • Blurring, distortion, cloudiness, or dimness.
  • Difficulty seeing in low light.
  • “Halos” around lights.
  • Light or glare sensitivity.
  • Fading/yellowing of colors.
  • Double vision.
  • “Floaters” or “cobwebs”.
  • Reduced peripheral vision.
  • Headaches, eye pain, and redness.
  • Stinging, scratchy, or gritty eyes.


Choosing Radiation Lead Glasses: Factors to Consider

When working with ionizing radiation, the best practice is to reduce the dosage as much as possible. You must wear your lead glasses whenever the x-ray apparatus is active. Any time you are wearing a lead apron, thyroid shield, and other radiation protective gear, your lead glasses should be on, too!

There are four factors that you should consider when choosing the perfect pair of lead glasses for radiation protection:


1. Type of Radiation Exposure

If you face straight-on exposure, frontal lenses provide adequate protection. However, the presence of all-around exposure requires glasses with leaded side shields.


2. Lead Equivalency

Many radiation lead glasses lenses have an insufficient lead equivalency rating of 0.5mm. However, the industry standard is 0.75mm lead equivalence in frontal lenses, with at least 0.25mm in the side shields.


3. Clear Visibility

Optically correct lenses will not distort or obscure your vision. If you wear prescription glasses, your lead radiation glasses should match their specifications. You can enhance your vision further by opting for anti-reflective coating—this ensures that you’ll still see clearly in bright light or glare. A fog-free coating also eliminates condensation when transitioning from a cold to warm environment. 


4. Fit

The nosepiece must fit securely on the nose and the earpieces should wrap around or rest on the ears. The frame should fit closely to the sides of your head and not slip if you bend forwards.


Radiation Lead Glasses: Protective, Stylish, & Comfortable


  • Barrier Technologies’ Lead Glasses Provide the Best Protection:

We have partnered with Corning and their Med-X® line to manufacture the toughest, most durable lead radiation glasses for your ultimate protection. Our glasses have the highest available lead content of 0.75mm equivalence, to block 100% of harmful ionizing radiation. We only use leaded glass, not plastic lenses. Plastic has inferior optical clarity, yellows over time is more prone to scratches, and is bad for the environment.


  • Barrier Technologies’ Lead Glasses Are Super Stylish:

When it comes to style, we supply a wide selection of frames from top eyewear companies. For the greatest protection while still looking fabulous, try one of our wrap-around sportswear options. You can choose from popular brands such as Costa Del Mar, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Rudy Project, and Wiley X. We also proudly offer our fashionable and functional in-house Barrier Brazen Private Label Collection.


  • Barrier Technologies’ Lead Glasses Offer Maximum Comfort:

We know that people have different shaped faces and features. Standard frames may not be the best shape and fit for you. To ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, we have introduced Asian-fit frames. These are specially designed for low-bridge noses. They have slightly bigger nose pads to prevent annoying and potentially dangerous slippage while you are working with radiation.


Why Barrier Technologies’ Lead Glasses Are the Best Choice

Barrier Technologies is dedicated to providing radiologic professionals with the best value and service. We will never compromise on safety from the hazardous effects of scatter radiation. All our radiation lead glasses options and offerings are carefully researched and developed to meet the highest safety standards. Whatever type of radiation environment you work in, from healthcare to the nuclear industry, we offer unsurpassed protection for your specific needs.

Gone are the days of cumbersome, unattractive goggles! We have partnered with top companies to bring you a wide selection of fashionable frames for the perfect fit, unparalleled comfort, and spectacular style. We back all our lead radiation glasses with complete after-sales repairs and service.

Are you looking for lead glasses with the superior internal transmission, top-quality durable lenses, and 100% protection from ionizing radiation? Please feel free to browse our extensive catalog. Contact us for advice or to place your order.