Going Above and Beyond Basic Impact Standards
Imagine: You have a client with a passion for mountain biking. One weekend, she decides to hit the trails for an off-road adventure when suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a rock sends her flying through the air, thrown from her bike. When you think about how impact resistant a pair of glasses are, you may think anything that’s up to FDA standards is satisfactory. But is safe, safe enough?
In the case of your mountain biker, the impact resistance of her lenses would be more important than for someone with a less active lifestyle. In her case, “impact resistance” as defined by the FDA guidelines may not be safe enough. Let’s take a look at the history of impact testing and how we can go above and beyond for our patient’s safety without sacrificing quality of vision, lightness or comfort.
A Brief History of Impact Testing...Should we be doing more?
Back in 1972, most lenses were being made from glass. In order to look after consumer safety, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a new law regarding resistance, setting a new industry standard. The test was simple; any lens that was able to hold up against the collision of a 5/8 inch steel ball, dropped from 50 inches above, would pass the test. Anything else would not be legally acceptable for consumers. Today, this regulation is still in place. With the continuing advances we’ve seen in the eyecare industry since the time this standard was adopted (for example, most glasses are not using glass lenses anymore) it’s time to ask the question: Should we be doing more?
Going Above and Beyond
For some patients, you may be able to say with confidence that the FDA’s standard of impact resistance will ensure enough protection for their lifestyle. However, can you say this for our mountain biker? Every customer is different, which means as eyecare professionals, we need to take the time to personalize their treatment. Thankfully, today the industry has grown to provide lens materials that go above and beyond the FDA standard. For example, Trivex material is not only lightweight and thin with high optical clarity, it has the strength to pass some of the most demanding optical impact tests.
Strength is essential for eyewear that can keep up with your patient’s needs. When it comes to protection, can you ever really be too safe? The FDA standard isn’t the only way to test for safety. Be sure to check back later to learn more about the ANSI Z87.1 test and how Trivex material stands up to this industry test.