Does Welding Hurt Your Eyes? How can it be prevented and Treated?

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Does Welding Hurt Your Eyes?

When it comes to welding, there are a lot of potential dangers that many people don’t think about. One of those dangers is to your eyesight.

Welding can cause serious damage to the cornea and retina, so it’s important to take precautions to protect your eyes.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how welding can hurt your eyes and what you can do to prevent or treat welding related eye injuries.

Introduce the topic of welding and its potential dangers to eyesight.

Welding is a process of joining two pieces of metal together using heat and pressure. The process can be dangerous to the eyes because it produces bright, intense light that can damage the cornea and retina.

Eye injuries from welding are not uncommon. In fact, welding is one of the leading causes of eye injuries in the United States.

There are several ways that welding can hurt your eyes

Welding arc flash

Welding arc flash can be a dangerous and sometimes fatal condition that occurs when welding equipment is not properly used or maintained.

Arc flash occurs when an electric arc is established between two conducting surfaces, usually metal, in the presence of an oxidizing atmosphere. The resulting hot sparks and molten metal can ignite flammable materials, causing a fire or explosion.

The intense heat of the arc can cause serious burns to nearby workers. To prevent arc flash accidents, it is important to follow all safety procedures when using welding equipment. This includes keeping the area well ventilated, using proper eye protection, and maintaining clean and dry equipment.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your welding project is completed safely and without incident.

Ultraviolet radiation 

Ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the human eye, but it can be detected by special instruments. It is a type of electromagnetic radiation with a shorter wavelength than visible light.

Ultraviolet radiation is harmful to the skin and can cause sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer. Welding arcs produce ultraviolet radiation, which is why welders must wear protective gear to shield their eyes and skin from the harmful effects of this radiation.

In addition to being a health hazard, ultraviolet radiation can also damage materials such as plastics and fabrics. For this reason, it is important to take precautions when welding to avoid exposure to ultraviolet radiation.


Small metal particles (known as spatter) can be thrown off during welding. If these particles hit your eye, they can cause serious damage.

Spatter is a small droplet of molten metal that is expelled from the welding arc. It can cause a variety of problems, including damage to the weld,porosity in the weld,and contamination of the weld area.

In addition, spatter can be extremely harmful to the eyes, causing burns and blindness. There are a few things that can cause spatter, including improper welding techniques, incorrect electrode angle, and contaminated electrodes.

Flash burn (Arc Eye)

This is a type of injury that occurs when the bright light from the welding arc comes into contact with your eyes.

Flash burn, also called arc eye, is a painful condition caused by exposure to UV light from welding. The light causes inflammation of the cornea, leading to symptoms such as redness, watering, and light sensitivity.

In severe cases, flash burn can cause permanent damage to the eye. Welders can help protect themselves by wearing a welding helmet with a dark lens that filters out UV light. They should also avoid looking directly at the arc while welding.

If they must look at the arc, they should do so only for a few seconds at a time and then take a break to let their eyes recover. 

Retinal detachment 

In some cases, the intense heat from welding can cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye. 

Retinal detachment is a very serious condition that can lead to blindness. It occurs when the retina, which is the light sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, becomes separated from the supportive layers beneath it.

Retinal detachment can be caused by a number of factors, but one of the most common is severe eye trauma. Welders are especially at risk for retinal detachment due to the bright flashes of light that are produced during welding. 

Ways to prevent welding related eye injuries

1. Wear proper eye protection – This includes using a welding helmet or goggles that have been specifically designed to protect your eyes from the bright light and UV radiation emitted by welding.

2. Position yourself correctly – When you’re welding, be sure to position yourself so that the arc is not reflecting into your eyes.

3. Use a shield – If you’re using a welding torch, be sure to hold a shield between you and the torch to protect your eyes from the bright light.

4. Take breaks – Welding can be tiring on your eyes, so be sure to take breaks every 20 minutes or so to give your eyes a rest.

5. See an eye doctor regularly – Even if you don’t currently have any vision problems, it’s important to see an eye doctor at least once a year. This way, they can catch any problems that may develop from welding.

If you do experience a welding related eye injury, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, vision loss from welding injuries is irreversible.

Take the necessary precautions to protect your eyes when welding, and be sure to see an eye doctor regularly. If you do experience an injury, seek medical attention immediately.

How to treat your eyes if they get hurt during welding

If you weld without taking the proper precautions, it is possible to hurt your eyes. Even though welding helmets and other safety gear can protect your eyes from the majority of sparks and debris, occasionally something can still get through. If this happens, it is important to know how to treat your eyes properly in order to avoid any further damage.

If you do happen to get debris in your eyes while welding, the first thing you should do is try and blink it out. If that does not work, then gently rinse your eye with clean water for a few minutes. You can also use sterile saline solution if it is available. Do not rub your eye, as this could further damage the cornea.

If the object is still stuck in your eye after rinsing, then it is best to seek medical attention right away. A doctor will be able to safely remove the object and treat any other potential damage.

In some cases, welding can also cause temporary or permanent vision problems. If you notice any changes in your vision after welding, be sure to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. With proper treatment, many of these vision problems can be corrected.


Welding can be dangerous to your eyes if the proper precautions are not taken. Welding arc flash, ultraviolet radiation, spatter, and flash burn can all lead to serious eye injuries.

To prevent these injuries, wear proper eye protection, position yourself correctly, use a shield, and take breaks often. If you do experience an injury, seek medical attention immediately.