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blind welders

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  • blind welders

    Does anyone know any older welders who are legally blind. I'm just curious as I just met a guy who welded for a living and is 72 years old and had a retinal detachment in one eye and a partial retinal detachment in his other eye. I asked him because I bought a miller elite helmet about 8 months ago and the last 3 times I used the helmet my right eye has had an eye ache in it (not flashburn). The helmet appears to be working correctly but in spite of the claims that they give you (99.9% protection for harmful UV/IR light) I don't think I should have any eye discomfort whatsoever! I have a leather bib attached to the base of the hood so no light enters the hood from down below and a black cloth behind my head so no light is entering the back of the helmet. I have to admit that I just bought a diversion welder and love it by the way, but the eye discomfort has come with the diversion and not my mig welders. I maxed out the helmet at 13 and backed it down to 11 as that is where I can finally see what I'm doing fairly clearly. Close my eyes before striking an arc and all sensitivities set to the max. Kind of strange eh!

  • #2
    You've got the helmet set so dark it's causing eye strain trying to see the puddle.

    For the low amp work suited to the Diversion, I'm guessing a shade 9 would be more than adequate for tig. With the Digital Elite and a Dynasty/Sync 250 I seldom go beyond a 9 for under 150 amps. For some low amp SS work, I have to go to the shade 8.
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    • #3
      I was wondering about that. I've heard about eye strain but never experienced it until now. Thanks for your help.


      • #4
        If Sundown3's advice (or any other advice or hints you get) does not help,
        consider seeing an opthalmologist (not an optometrist). Just because it
        happens while welding does not mean that it is just a welding thing.
        Something else might be happening and the stress & strain of welding
        is making you feel it sooner than you otherwise might have. It's
        probably nothing to worry about, but you never know.

        Let us know how it goes


        • #5
          Any person with eyesight issues from a lifetime of welding is due to UV(obviously) and work enviroment.If it wasn't already a problem of past welders it will not be one of present day.Due to advancements in safety and technology.
          ''True genius,in many fields of human endeaver,is often revealed in elegant simplicity"


          • #6
            Thanks for the input guys. I'm letting my eyes rest for a couple days and then I'm going to give it another shot with the lens brighter so I don't have to strain to see the puddle. If it continues after my next welding session then off the the opthamologist for peice of mind.


            • #7
              eye strain

              I work in a fab shop. I have a speedglas 9002x autodarkening hood. At work i weld with 71c dual shield wire. welding for hours i find my eyes ache. After weeks of welding 10 hours a day. I found myself having a hard time reading prints. i would mistake a 1/8 for 3/8 it got bad.
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              • #8
                Don't except pain for any reason

                I have never (knock on wood) had an issue with eyes hurting do to welding...Eye that is an issue with anyone...see your may need glasses...I never go below a 10 shade...even welding low I do change the color of the shade...low amp, I like a mirror lens...carbon arcing...I like a green 12...any type of pipe, I like a my orange or gray colored lenses. By no means is this is just my eyes and my preferance...The best lense I ever owned was a "kool Blue" color lense...but they don't make them in glass anymore...The plastic kool blue's are not the same.
                Sometimes a glass lense is more comfortable than a plastic lense!

                Reguardless of any type of lense you use, you should not have pain...Anyone that welds day in and day out welding for long "continuelous" hours...will get eye strain...if you don't believe a 1000 page novel with small print for 12 hours straight, then tell me how your eyes and head feel!!!


                • #9
                  Sounds like eye strain is not entirely uncommon with welding and I hope that is all this is. I just don't want to lose my vision from something I do as a hobby. Thanks for all replies. It's also encouraging to not have anyone posting on here that they know of a bunch of legally blind retired welders.


                  • #10
                    Hello ouch,

                    I have a friend I've known for over 40 years who is legally blind.
                    The definition back then was 20-200 uncorrected which may or may not have changed.
                    However, this didn't bother my friend who graduated from college with a BS in Chemistry and then went on for a MS in Environmental engineering.

                    He didn't weld but I also didn't start welding until 2 years after graduation.

                    We skied, played tennis and scuba dived in college and long afterwards.
                    He wore thick glasses but otherwise this didn't hinder our wild side.

                    He and his wife invested wisely and managed to retire in their late 40's and moved to Florida. (I'm still envious!)

                    Now they travel for months at a time in a 5th wheel trailer they pull with their F450 diesel pickup.

                    I plan to visit them in Florida for the last shuttle launch.

                    Sorry for the long story but my advice for you eye troubles would be to see an ophthamologist.

                    I get watery eyes when I tig for a long time so I try to take breaks when this happens.

                    I see my eye doc every year just for peace of mind.

                    Your eyesight is priceless - please guard it.
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                    Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ultim8wldr View Post
                      I work in a fab shop. I have a speedglas 9002x autodarkening hood. At work i weld with 71c dual shield wire. welding for hours i find my eyes ache. After weeks of welding 10 hours a day. I found myself having a hard time reading prints. i would mistake a 1/8 for 3/8 it got bad.
                      Have you tried to turn up the sensitivity on the lens?
                      Jeff Lund
                      Lund Machine Works


                      • #12
                        When I first got my tig, my eyes hurt after using it. After a few weeks of using it, wasn't so bad. But now after several hours of use at one setting, they do still hurt a little.

                        My plan is to ditch the auto darkening helment in favor on a fiber fixed shade helmet with a gold lens.
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