Did you know that more than 34 million Americans wear contact lenses? If you are a contact lens wearer and work in an industrial environment, you’re probably familiar with the arguments for and against wearing your contact lenses. In case you are not, here are the pros and cons.

On the con side, contact lenses may complicate eye safety. Specks of dust or chemicals can be trapped behind the lens and cause irritation, damage, or both to the cornea. Gases and vapors can cause irritation and excessive eye watering. Also, a chemical splash can be more injurious when contact lenses are worn. It increases the risk related to the removal of the lenses. If removal is delayed, first aid treatment may not be as effective because the eye’s exposure time to the chemical is increased.

However, the pro side argues the opposite. Contact lenses may prevent some substances from reaching the eye, and thus minimize or even prevent a severe eye injury.

The critical point to remember is that contact lenses are not intended to be used as protective devices. They are not a substitute for personal protective equipment (PPE) – if eye and face protection is required for certain work operations then all workers, including contact lens wearers, should wear the proper protective devices. Safe work conditions for all workers are only possible when basic occupational health and safety practices and procedures are followed.

If you work in a hazardous industrial environment, be sure to take extra precaution to keep your contact lenses and eyes safe from harm. If you wear soft contact lenses and work in an environment where chemicals could potentially splash into your eye, it is a good practice to take out your contact lenses during your lunch break to clean them to be sure no hazardous debris is on them. If you wear hard contact lenses, dust or dirt could become trapped inside your lenses and scratch your eye. In both cases, i-Check can help you perform a close-up examination of your eye to make sure no harmful debris is in your eye or contact lenses that could cause damage.