People ask is welding dangerous for eyes? The answer is Yes, welding can gradually damage your eyes. There are high risks of getting damaged eyes from the ultraviolet and infrared rays while welding. Moreover, contamination from ordinary dust and sand can lead to eye infections.
In this guide, we will let you know
- the common causes of eye damage from welding,
- how welding damages eyes and
- the solution to this problem
The Common Causes of Eye Damage from Welding
Studies have shown that, foreign bodies entering the eye accounted for 71.7% welding injuries. Here, by a foreign body, we mean wood chips, metal shavings, insects, glass pieces or dust. Therefore, the most common cause of eye damage from welding is entering a foreign body.
Another common cause is eye burning from welding. A statistic has shown that around (22.2%) of welder are injured in their eyes from burning. Besides, the basic process before and after welding (grinding, brushing, and chipping) can cause serious eye injury.
Moreover, fumes from the welding area can cause photo-keratitis. Photokeratitis leads the eye to the painful corneal inflammation. So, the common causes of eye damage aren’t the issues of neglect.
Welders and technicians can reduce the potential risk by following precautions and wearing safety equipment.
Other Causes of Eye Damage in Welding
Apart from the common reasons, there are a few more reasons for eye damage in welding.
The visible light of the welding zone can cause retinal damage. As a result, the welder will lose their vision soon.
It can damage the retina permanently, resulting the welder blindness.
The UV rays can make a welder sick from the problems named surfer’s eye that can cause eye tumor.
How does welding damage the eyes?
Generally, a bright light is produced from the molten metal and welding arch. These bright lights are different from ordinary lights and emit harmful radiation. Eyes can absorb this light and can get hurt and burning.
Fortunately, the infrared and ultraviolet rays from welding areas can’t directly affect the eyes. The eye’s cornea and lens absorb the harmful rays and create swelling and pain in the welder’s eyes. Even though these swelling and pain aren’t permanent, but painful experiences for a few days.
Watering, blinking, and blurred vision can lead to permanent eye damage if not treated on time. Also, note that welding without safety can gradually reduce eye vision.
How to Reduce the Risk of Eye Damage in Welding?
Using appropriate eye protection equipment can help reduce eye damage risks. Eye projector equipment includes safety goggles, glasses, clothing, face shields and welding helmets.
Wearing safety goggles can keep your eyes from ultraviolet and impact radiation. However, choosing safety glasses permitted by OSHA safety regulations is important.
OSHA-permitted safety glasses are designed to protect the eyes from the front and sides. Besides, ensure your safety glasses are comfortable for longer periods.
There are two types of safety goggles. The safety goggles with the direct vent are ideal to prevent harmful radiation. This google has a smaller opening to pass the fog inside the goggles.
On the contrary, Goggles without a vent are used in extreme dust, splashes and radiation areas. These types of goggles have no opening.
Face shields provide extra protection over the eye goggles or glasses. These are mainly designed to protect the face. However, you can wear it to protect your eyes too.
These shields are designed with a protective layer of filter. So, the filter can prevent radiation, sparks, dust and fumes from entering into nose, eyes and throat.
Choose your face shield according to the type of welding. Note that the face shield for arc and gas welding differs in design and features.
A welding helmet is a multiple-featured safety equipment. It works to protect the whole face. But it is recommended to wear extra eyeglasses beneath the helmet.
However, one must know the welding type before choosing a welding helmet. For example, the fixed shade helmet has a feature to stay dark all the time. On the other hand, the automatic darkening helmet can adjust the darkness as required.
Specialized clothing is important to protect from rays, sparks or splatter, fumes and heat. Otherwise, the extreme spark or spatter can cause burning. So, wear PPE to cover the entire body.
Follow the Welding rules
A welder must maintain some mandatory rules to prevent injury and severe damage. So, must know the rules and maintain those before starting your welding tasks.
Treatment of eyes if they get hurt while welding?
You mistakenly looked at the welding arch with bare eyes, and the result is much suffering. Let’s learn some simple ways to treat this type of situation.
- You can take these initial steps to feel better from burning, pain and irritation.
- Wear sunglasses to reduce irritation and glare of the sunlight or artificial electric light.
- Use eye drops to reduce inflammation and take over-the-counter drugs to prevent pain.
- Drink enough liquid, including water, coconut water, milk or fruit juice
- Keep closing your eyes and take complete rest
- Remove contact lenses if you wore that
- Don’t rub the eyes or eye area because it can cause retinal stains or increase the problems.
- If you feel any vision loss problems, go to an ophthalmologist
Some effective home remedies can give calmness to your eyes.
- Tea bags
Applying a black or green tea bag to the eyes is a popular way to reduce inflammation. Used tea bags contain tannin that reduces burning irritation quickly. Keep the tea bag in the fridge and cool it down a bit. Besides, you can drink tea as it has minerals.
Applying mashed raw potatoes around the eyes will reduce pain and inflammation quickly.
The natural enzymes of milk can reduce your damaged eye pain. At the same time, it will reduce dryness and itching and provide a cooling sensation in your eyes.
Rosewater is another effective way to get rid of welding splash. Wipe around the damaged eyes with rose water with a soft cotton ball.
- Ice packs
You can also use an ice pack on the eyes. It will reduce inflammation, redness, swelling and pain very quickly.
Cucumber is a mineral-rich ingredient. Take a cucumber slice and apply it to the damaged eyes. It will make your eyes cool and comfortable.
- Wet clothes
Another simple solution is to put a wet cloth over your eyes, making you feel cold.
We hope you know the reasons for eye damage from welding. You will face some common and serious eye problems from the welding zone. In some cases, the hazards may lead you to permanent vision loss. So, Precautions are very important to protect yourself from hazardous conditions. We have already mentioned how to prevent the risks of potential eye damage from welding.