In training courses and conversations with many other night vision users, there is often the question of eye protection. With night vision, is it really important to have eye protection on as well? Truly it depends on the situation, but in most scenarios eye pro is extremely important. We only have two eyes and it is less than pleasant to live the rest of your life as a pirate. The answer is highly correlated to the activities you will be engaging in.
For those wanting to shoot with night vision eye protection is important. Just like when shooting during the day, eye protection is curved around the face and gives the best level of protection and coverage. Shooting steel often results in numerous impacts from spall. These impacts are far worse when they impact the eyes. For those doing force on force this is especially important as sim rounds can easily impact the eye and cause permanent damage. Eye pro also protects against more than just projectiles.
While the mount holds the night vision, the tubes can still impact the eyes if pressed rearward. For this reason, even while hunting or activities not involving firearms, eye protection provides a barrier preventing the night vision from pushing backwards into the user’s eyes.
Eye Protection Variants
There are various forms of eye pro that may be more or less effective but much of it is based on personal preference. The first is to simply wear a set of protective glasses such as Oakley M Frames. For some, wearing standard shooting glasses can get uncomfortable if used for extended periods in conjunction with bump or ballistic helmets. After a couple hours of constant use the helmet can start to press the frame of the glasses into the user’s temples.
Ops Core also produces a Step-in Visor for helmets equipped with Ops-Core Accessory Rail Connectors (ARCs). Mounting directly to the helmet, this eye protection places no pressure on the user’s face. Secondly, the Step-In Visor has removable Side Debris Gaskets that fully protect the area around the user’s eyes from small debris such as sand.
Nigh vision is often flipped out of the way during numerous tasks. Conversely, eye protection often remains in place. While there may be some personal exemptions from the rule, using eye protection with night vision is a good practice.