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Glasses damage Eyes?

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  • Glasses damage Eyes?

    G,Day from WA, (Western Australia).
    Hello fellow metal melters. I have reached an age where it is necessary to use perscription glasses to see what the heck I am doing (boo hoo!). Just wondering if using perscription glasses with their magnifying effect when welding will speed up long term sight loss. Guessing it will, but hoping it wont. I am guessing copping a flash with perscription glasses would be particularily damaging?
    Regards, West-Oz.

  • #2
    Hello to West-Oz.
    I am a hobby welder and just yesterday had my eyes examined. I ask the Dr. about welding affecting my eyes. It turns out that he and his dad own a small machinery shop! He MIG welds himself - unusual for a Dr.
    He said my eyes were completely fine. I wear prescription bi-focals under my hood with cheaters lens.
    He said as long as you use your hood, you should not have any additional eye problems from welding.
    Of course as we age, we will most likely have cataracts, but not any worse from welding.
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    • #3
      I just had my eyes checked and a new perscription and they are almost the same 20 20 vision. I am 70 and have been welding since I was 15 or so and fulltime for the last 20 years. It hasnt hurt mine that I can tell other than the start of cataracts which is common for my age group.

      I have worn drug store magnifiers to weld with for over 20 years, they havent hurt my eyes that I can tell. I think they also block most of the UV as I havent gotten flashed nearly as much since I started wearing them.
      mike sr


      • #4
        Glasses don't make the light seen by the eye any brighter, they just make anything in their designed distance range viewable with clearer focus.

        It's the UV and other certain light spectrum rays that damage the eyes. The welding hood's shade is designed to block those rays and protect the eyes. Magnifying the 'safe' light spectrum rays that do come through the shaded lens doesn't hurt the eyes.
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        • #5
          I don't think the welding helment manufactures would make in helment magnifiers if they kenw it would cause eye problems.
          "The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein


          • #6
            The lenses of the glasses will actually add protection against most ultraviolet (a factor of 10 to 100), as will safety glasses. Infrared (which can damage your retina, as it isn't well absorbed by the transparent parts of the eye) won't be decreased significantly, but are blocked by the shield. Improved focus from the glasses won't likely cause any problem with IR.

            Being flashed with the glasses on will be MUCH less harmful than bare eyed, but about the same as with regular safety glasses.

            Note that you should add side shields.


            • #7
              Thanks to all that replied. I feel a lot happier now after reading your informed intelligent replies. Most of my work is mechanical in nature, but as an Ag mechanic, I do get to spend about a day a week on the Mig, either repairing stuff (todays' focus) or manufacturing accessory mounts, anything from compressor mounts to Auto steer systems.
              Thanks again.


              • #8
                I wouldn't worrie.


                • #9
                  getting flashed

                  if you are wearing cheaters under the hood and it works stay with it, im rethinking my situation, i have a magnifier lense in my hood, it works great, the problem when stick welding is when the hood is up and your getting ready to strike an arc that you really cant see how close the rod is to make contact, ive flashed myself more than once, now i have 1 more age related thing to think about. also ive been burning metal my whole life, my eyes havent suffered from this, just the normal ageing process. merry christmas and weld on. kevin


                  • #10
                    Anybody who ever used real glass glasses will realize this .... your glasses will get spatter stuck to them even under the hood. Think about this a little ..... you should be wearing safety glasses under your hood, at all times anyway, whether you need corrective lenses or not.

                    Wal-mart for one, for years has offered prescription safety glasses, for considerably less cost than regular glasses. They don't look "s exy", they don't look "cool", but they work. Order them with plastic or polycarbonate lenses, they will scratch, but still last longer than glass.

                    Once you turn the corner, and have problems seeing stuff up close, most regular safety glass manufacturers, offer their glasses in reading glass corrections, just pick the correction that gives you the best view, at the distance you normally work at. Your local welding supply should offer these, if not, there's plenty of online places to order them from. I personally prefer the correction in the safety glasses, rather than a cheater in the hood, since this helps me with layout, grinding, cutting, etc. etc. While I am working, this allows me to ALWAYS have correct protection over my eyes.

                    Anytime, I do need to go in for a new prescription, I make it a point of telling the doc exactly what I do for a living, and please look for any possible damage that might be occuring as a result. Every time, my eyes get a clean bill of health, always only a slight change in the prescription.

                    I would have to say, you are taking far more risk, NOT wearing proper safety glasses, whatever correction, than you would be wearing either reading glass correction, or normal prescription glasses, or nothing, JUST from the possibility of getting something stuck in your eye.
                    Last edited by JSFAB; 12-22-2009, 10:44 AM.
                    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


                    • #11
                      I have worn prescription glasses for about 40 years, and have been welding for 30.
                      I wear polycarbonate or plastic lenses. Yes they scratch, but they are lighter than glass, and the sparks bounce off them.