Goggles are a form of protective eyewear that usually enclose the eye area to prevent particulates or chemicals from striking the eyes. They are often used in chemistry laboratories or in woodworking. They are often used in snow sports as well, and in swimming. Goggles are often worn when using power tools such as drills or chainsaws to prevent flying particles from damaging the eyes.
The requirements for goggles varies depending on the use. Some examples:
- Swimming: Must be watertight to prevent water, such as salt water when swimming in the ocean, from irritating the eyes or blurring vision. Allows swimmers to see clearly underwater.
- Power tools: Must be made of an unbreakable material that prevents chunks of metal, wood, plastic, concrete, and so on from hitting or piercing the eye. Usually has some sort of ventilation to prevent sweat from building up inside the goggles and fogging the surface.
Motorcycle riding and other open-air activities: Prevents insects, dust, and so on from hitting the eyes.
Racquetball: Protect the eyes from racquets swinging in an enclosed area and from impact from hard rubber ball.
- Snow sports : Protect the eyes from glare and from icy particles flying up from the ground.
In anime, goggles (or sunglasses) worn or kept on the forehead/headgear by a character are a sign of decisiveness, bravery, or leadership position. This may have been inspired by the aviators of old, or by historical figures such as George Patton or Erwin Rommel.
A scene in The Simpsons, where a character unsuccesfully tries to shield himself from a giant wave of acid by using protective goggles, has made it into the halls of internet humour. The associated phrase "My eyes...the goggles do nothing!" is often used as a humorous exclamation after viewing something unpleasant.