Does Welding Hurt your Eyes (Safety Comes First)

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Did you know we all have rods in our eyes? Hey! don’t worry we have all got them.  I ain’t talking about the rods we weld on the job but it has something to do with the welding. These are cells that sit on your eyeball and help you visualize pictures. Keep reading to learn how to take care of your rods while welding rods and prevent damage to your eyesight.

Welding is a high-paying job and there are good reasons behind this and there are also some risks associated with this. Welding will hurt your eyes but not if you have knowledge on how it can damage your eyes or other body parts and how you can prevent them.

Can Welding Damage your Eyes?

Welding produces high-energy outputs within the ultraviolet spectrum and presumably infrared rays. And these rays may burn the retina of the eyes! You have got what is referred to as rods and cones on the rear of your eyeball. Rods detect shape cones detect color. These form an image. Blasts of energy from the sturdy light imprint on these. If you experiment, gazing at something in strong light you may find once you shut your eyes you can still see it.

An excessive amount of light energy will burn out your rods and cones. The same stuff that gives you a suntan may also provide you with sunburn. By welding without using any protection, you do not want to give your eye’s retina a sunburn. When you burn your eyes welding, the term is called Photokeratitis.

Photokeratitis is basically sunburn of the cornea. In the case of a sunburn, pain can be severe though the damage is not permanent. The melanin of our skin protects us against burning. Our eyes do not with similar protection mechanism out of the box. Any damage to the retina is very dangerous. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Long-term Effect on Eyes from Welding

Long-haul openness to UV light can create complexities in certain people. Emitted light from welding measures is splendid and can overpower the capacity of the iris. The outcome is that the light is incidentally blinding and exhausting to the eye.

A genuine concern is a blue-light hazard which is the brief or perpetual scarring of the retina because of its affectability to blue light, around 440nm frequency. Visual deficiency may result. Openness to infra-red light can warm the focal point of the eye and turn out in complexities over the long haul. That is the reason it’s fundamental to wear PPE and Glasses to shroud your skin and eyes all through welding. 

Usual sorts of problems that may occur while welding is:

  • Materials getting into the eye, suggestive of sparkles, coarseness, and residue. 
  • The compression of redness from particulate exhaust and gases.

How much damage is done if Exposed?

Photokeratitis, although painful, isn’t permanent. However, if you received enough ultraviolet radiation rays to truly burn your corneas, you only added another dose of UV rays to the entire accumulation your eyes have received to date.
Just as our skin feels the burn after many hours in the sun, spending time underneath intense, unprotected exposure to UV radiation will cause a range of short issues in our eyes. The short-term effects of UV eye injury might diminish however the additive UV exposure can yellow each lens and therefore the cornea, making it harder to tell apart distinctions in our vision.

How Much Safety is Guaranteed from Modern Welding Equipment?

 Nothing protects the eyes perfectly. There will always be some stray threat to your eyes, and that helps justify the fact that your eyes can repair themselves to some degree when they’re damaged.

Each professional welder is exposed to the various dangerous waves of flash burn while not the protection of a welding hood, multiple times in their career. It’s known that multiple exposures to the light, without protection, though just for a couple of seconds, will cause dangerous cataracts. The susceptibility really depends on the total length of time of exposure, along with variable genetic traits, and also variables like the person’s environment, and distance from the arc.

Modern auto-darkening shields are safer than the old fixed shields because you can always start the arc with the shield in place. Even closing the eyes does not cut out the brightness of an arc 100%. So using a fixed shield and arcing up with the eyes shut just before the shield can be dropped – is not necessarily safe.

Modern welding gear protects your eyes sufficiently that very old welders often have vision entirely comparable to the vision of very old school teachers, basketball players, politicians, or people from any other line of work.

Accidental Quick Looks on the Welding Flashes

It depends on the distance, intensity of the welding flash, and also length of exposure. There are two kinds of harm one may sustain — ultraviolet damage to the cornea, and retinal damage from the intensity of the visible light. Inflammation happens as a result of the membrane cells being transparent. So, in a brief exposure, nothing would happen to your eyes.

If you look at it for an extended time, you may get Flash Burn on your eyes. UV damage is common at shut ranges, however even a 5-10 second exposure will cause welder’s flash. A welding arc is usually 10 times brighter within the invisible UV ray wavelengths than it is within the visible spectrum. If you’ll be able to see the purple-white light, even mirrored from a wall or ceiling, you’re in danger of developing keratitis.

It’s like having gravel or rough sand in your eyes and once you explore any light, it’s terribly painful. You should go to the ER without any delay and they will place antibiotic eye drops in your eyes and you may have to use them for several days. Plus, this doesn’t happen until a lot later when you check out the welding arc. Typically, after you’ve gone to bed and you wake up and your eyes are in extreme pain.

Welding Flash or Scorching Sun on TV

When you expose yourself to welding or the scorching sun in the naked eye, the issue that hurts your eyes is the ultraviolet that’s in daylight and also the arc of the weld. This UV radiation is higher energy than the cells in your membrane will handle and that they virtually die because of it being targeted on them by the lens of the eye.

A camera works by gathering light then the tv reproduces that image. Since UV radiation is neither captured nor reproduced within the camera-tv setup, it’s not possible that it will hurt your eyes to simply consider a video of arc or the sun on TV.

Final Thoughts

Welding could be a dangerous occupation. A welder uses high-powered welding torches to chop through numerous thicknesses of metals and to soften the metal edges into weld seams and weld joints.

As such, a welder is exposed to the risks of electrical shock, injuries concerning the inhalation of ototoxic fumes, eye injury, and skin burns. That’s why it is essential that a welder wear protective garments and equipment such as helmets, shields, safety glasses, gloves, welding jackets or aprons, and also the right variety of boots.

Special offer for our visitors

Get your Welding Free Guide

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions