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June 1961

Spectacles and Complacency

Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;65(6):773-774. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.01840020775001

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Glasses are such common elements of ophthalmic practice that, like automobiles without seat belts, the thousands of them about us belie their deadly potential. Spectacles should be protective shields rather than sources of injury or secondary missiles. Lens fragments can be more devastating than rocks or chips. Widespread use of rotary mowers has recently increased the volume of ocular injuries due to broken glasses as well as flying rocks.

Tremendous ocular carnage can be prevented by simply prescribing spectacles in safety materials rather than fragile crown glass. Industrial programs—spurred on by compensation rulings and insurance carriers—have superbly minimized ocular trauma. The National Society for the Prevention of Blindness has on record over 21,000 American workers—members of the "Wise Owl Clubs"—whose eyes have been saved by safety lenses. We must do as well for the do-it-yourself craftsman, the unwary automobilist, and for ourselves.

Current safety lens materials are classifiable into (1)

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