Optometry practices in Victoria are behind increasing demand for newly released COVID-19 protective eyewear from Italian eyewear manufacturer Safilo.
The company announced recently that it has broadened its Polaroid product range to include a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)-approved face shield and a sunglass visor after redirecting its production efforts in response to the pandemic.
Safilo Australia senior marketing expert Mr Andrea Rolando said the company had already received significant orders for both products, which contain anti-fog properties.
“Practices in Victoria have started ordering both the face shield and the visor. The sunglasses visors are designed more for patients, while the face shield is for both patients and practitioners. Some practices have ordered one for each of their staff members plus they are holding stock for patients as well,” he said.
Rolando said the company’s proximity to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy prompted its decision to diversify its range of optical frames and sunglasses.
“Northern Italy, where Safilo headquarters is based, was one of the most affected regions in the current crisis,” he said.
“During the initial stages of the pandemic, our research and development, industrialisation and manufacturing teams switched our production efforts of the Italian plants to produce eyewear and safety products to support the doctors, nurses and health professionals of Italy.”
The Polaroid face shield was developed specifically for medical professionals during this period and remains manufactured in Italy. It is certified and tested under EN 1663, a European Standard for eye protection, to ensure optical clarity and impact resistance, and was registered with the TGA on 22 May.
“We hope that the face shield may help practitioners to continue to interact with their patients in this difficult time, while still maintaining a sense of connection by allowing patients to see them, without fogging up while wearing a face mask,” Rolando said, adding that it is also available in a smaller version for children.
In relation to the Polaroid sunglass visor, designed for face protection, he said: “Easy to clean and disinfect, this new accessory combines safety with a comfortable fit. It doesn’t fog up when worn with a mask and is available in three colours.”