Can Welding Blind You? Facts & Safety Information

Millions of workers around the globe come into contact with welding on a regular basis. No matter what industry they work in, welders are exposed to many different physical hazards, with a majority suffering from eye injuries. It can be scary to realize that welding can cause damage to your eyes, but you must be aware of the risks involved. 

One of the many questions asked is, can welding blind you? Yes, it can. You are working with intense heat, ultraviolet radiation, and lots of debris and harmful chemicals. This can harm your eyes instantly because the iris and the cornea absorb ultraviolet rays, resulting in cataracts or, in worse cases, blindness.

Though excruciating, the good news is that these injuries are temporary with a quick recovery scale. Therefore, if a welding flash strikes a welder’s eye, they must take immediate precautions.

Does Welding Hurt Your Eyes?

A simple answer is yes. It is not very common, but welding can hurt your eyes. Not using protective gear and overexposure can cause injuries like cataracts, corneal burns, and in some cases, blindness. 

Risk Factors

Some of the welding risk factors are as follows:

  • Effects of various light emissions. For instance, infrared radiation.
  • Ultraviolet radiation that causes flash burns and blindness when overexposed.
  • The use of tools like saws can also cause tiny particles and debris to fly off and get into the eyes, causing eye damage.  
  • Welding can also cause eye damage if it isn’t handled properly.

Welders working in major industrial sectors like computer equipment, fabricated metal products, heavy machinery, or underwater welding are more prone to eye damage.

Does Welding Cause Blindness?

Light from the welding process warms the lenses of the eyes, causing them to become opaque, leading to blurred vision and blindness. Apart from blindness, which happens in sporadic cases, welding can cause the following injuries:

  • Flash burns: sunburn-like damage occurs to the eye cornea.
  • Cataracts: caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Blue Light hazard: caused by long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation, leading to permanent blindness.
  • Blindness: If the injuries mentioned above are left untreated for long, they might lead to a severe problem which is blindness. 

Is Blindness from Welding Temporary or Permanent?

The eyes are known as the quickest organs to recover from any damage in our bodies. Therefore, if you accidentally hurt your eyes in your welding career, it does not mean that the problem will last forever. 

Safety Measures

Here are some safety measures to protect your eyes while welding:

  • Wear safety gear like shielded helmets and welding goggles to avoid sparks.
  • Wear passive lenses with a gold-plated tint that protects the eyes by blocking UV and IR rays.
  • Wear face shields on the top of goggles to prevent flying debris or tiny particles from entering the eyes.
  • Wear auto-darkening lenses that react to the bright welding lights and give more visibility.

Takeaway

To stay safe while welding, you must consider several factors like price, weight, and quality of the safety equipment. Not only because of safety but using protective gear will also enhance your quality of work and productivity simultaneously. Remember, safety should be your top priority! Weld safely!

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