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Thread: Ever had Arc eye

  1. #1
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    Ever had Arc eye

    Did not want to hijack Carols thread but Stu posted on it about a decent welding helmet.

    He did not quiet elaborate on the downside of this issue outside of the protection of eyes etc.


    I thought to bring out the seriousness of this for new welders i would make a standalone post so those who have experienced arc eye (that's what i call it don't know if you guys have the same term) can post about theirs.

    Given where i grew up the most popular form of welding in private home hobby use hands, was stick welding and no fancy auto dark helmets , one thing even experienced welders ended up with from time to time was arc eye.

    As a kid i got this several times and its not an experience i want to ever go through again. My first was for looking at someone else welding ( duh dumb eh but all kids are dumb and i did not have helicopter parents) the second time was not looking but being in the vicinity of the arc flash and it got me from the side of my eye.

    I have spent hours trying to determine the specs on these auto dark helmets because of the difference in pricing and marketing blurb.

    I have not yet pulled the trigger on a helmet because i want to be sure that auto detect and darkness circuit is the best money can buy. The reaction time and darkness are not easy specs to come by for each of these helmets other things aside such as the mechanical fit and sturdiness of the headgear part. I have seen the auto darkness helmets go for close to $50 at the low end realistically that has to be a cautionary signal when you consider the price of the one Stu linked to.

    At the time i got arc i it burned for more than a day, stings like crazy.

    Does anyone know if there is medicinal solution to it that remedies the effect sooner nowadays? Sure is not something i want to experience again in my life never mind the damage it does to the eye.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    I've managed to miss it probably due to my brother having to have his head wrapped (eyes covered) all day after being exposed to the "bounce" off of the wall. This gave me respect for the effects of exposure. That and working with guys who had welded longer than I had been alive. None of them were casual about welding safety the way many homeowners can be. This was serious stuff to them and was about the only subject the didn't joke about ;-)
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  3. #3
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    Good post, Rob. I spent a summer as a welder's helper in a quarry and got flashed a couple of times. They called it 'flash burn'. Once you get a flash burn you will never want to have another. You are essentially sunburning your eyes from the UV radiation. Lots of home remedies involving milk or potato juice or tea bags, The best remedy, aside from prevention, is to go to your eye doctor and get some numbing drops. Always wear something like this under your helmet anyways:
    http://www.safetyglassesusa.com/s3305.html

  4. #4
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    I know my dad had got it bad once as a kid when he and his brother welded up a boat trailer. He always told me about how bad it hurt.

    I have to admit I have just one of the little harbor freight auto dark helmets.

    It wasn't that expensive, but I've never had any issues with my vision from it.

    I started off with one of the regular non darkening helmets, but could never get the hang of starting the arc in the dark, or getting setup and flipping the helmet down.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  5. #5
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    Watching both threads, because "flash over" can certainly be a problem, and more and more helmets have gone to autodarkening, where finding fixed dark lens, seems to be getting harder.

    Autodarkening isn't always a good thing, if your working in a garage, where the garage door could be flung open at any time. (can't see what your doing for a couple of seconds)
    Guess what I was doing when someone was trying to teach me to weld.

  6. #6
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    My brothers and I all got it from watching dad weld when we were little, even from the bounce off the walls. So more than once in the middle of the night he was pealing a potato and putting slices on our eyes. It did the trick every time and we were better by morning, but prevention was better. He finally picked up a spare helmet for us to use and watch him.

    I've got a little better quality one than the HF, but it's still leaves a flash in the eyes before it kicks in, but the glass itself is still a UV filter. It's more like looking through torch lenses than a welding hood for a split micro second. I wouldn't recommend one for daily use, but for quick tack-ups and periodic use they are fine. As mentioned on Carol's thread, I'll do my tack ups with it, then switch to the flip hood for long beads.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
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    Luckily not badly but I did get some from reflection once (hey I wasn't looking at it right? should be fine? Wrong!).

    Mom had really bad snowblindness when I was a kid, miserable pain for about two weeks (we weren't living where it was easy to get out to a doctor at the time). Never wanted to experience that.

    I've been using a helmet with 1/23000s reported response time which has been working fine for me. One concern I have with it is how do you know if it's actually going to work every time? Maybe it's the paranoid curmudgeon in me but.. Still make me nervous.

  8. #8
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    Last edited by Scott R Smith; 12-17-2014 at 04:48 PM.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  9. #9
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    One thing to remember is just bouncing off the wall welding light can cook your eyes.

    Your little dog or cat has no idea to shield their eyes, and it will get them just as bad.

    Given that, make sure your pets are not in the area when you weld.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

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