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Old 12-30-2015, 09:07 PM
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OZWELDER OZWELDER is offline
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Default AD welding helmets and itchy eyes

The subject came up on another forum I contribute to.
My understanding from trade college days is that the Welding arc rays consist of
UV rays A,B and C
Infra red rays- I don't have a lot of info on this one,more would be welcome
and visible light - its bright but separated from UV and IR does no more damage that headlights in your eyes at night.

My understanding always was that UV is stopped at the helmet lens -we wear safety glasses in the shop for the same reason.

The figures I have seen are that 99.99% are absorbed by the helmet lenses.
The counter argument is that that 0.01% is enough damaging UV radiation energy to damage our eyes and that is why people are reporting itchy eyes.

I don't accept that and believe itchy eyes are coming from a number of sources:
No safety glasses under a welding shield-all it takes is an accidental arc strike
Sensitivy to atmospheric/environmental dust dust.
Sensitivity to metallic grinding dust
Sensitivity to fumes and shielding gases from the welding.
Sensitivity to the breeze blown into your shield from a ventilation fan - to blow fumes away
For those of you that do lots of welding what thoughts do you have?
If you have any data or published references on this subject I would love that you could post them.

Thanks and happy new years for tonite
Ozwelder
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:56 PM
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My only experience is I used a 9 lens for many years and still do. Only time I got an eye issue was mig welding inside a new aluminum semi tanker. Damned aluminum is a great reflector.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:06 PM
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I certainly don't do a lot of welding but I have had a good bit of contact with an opthalmologist the last couple of years.
The first point I'd add is the relationship between ultra violet & macular degeneration. He says it certainly has a genetic component but the main cause of vision loss is ultra violet, even from sunlight. Welding carelessly and even going without sunglasses in the bright sun all your life is asking to go blind.
Case in point, my father was nearly blind by the time he died and I can't remember that he ever owned a pair of sunglasses in his entire life. He also never wore "regular" glasses except for reading.

The other thing that came up December 17th was the first little lady doc who examined me said, "Hmmm, you have a little dry eye going on."
She was surprised that my eyes hadn't been itching. I was surprised to hear about it, period. She didn't attribute it to any particular cause.
So she told me to use eyedrops a couple of times a day, "just buy whatever is cheapest - they're all alike".

You might add that to the list, Oz. Sometimes the simple things are the culprit.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:33 AM
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If it is an automatic darkening helmet, it could easily have been accidentally changed to a lower than 10 shade rating. Also for my students I put the change to darkness setting as fast as it will go. Another thing to check for, is flash coming in around the lens somewhere? (hold up to a light and check for light leakage)
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:56 PM
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I have found that depending on the welding helmet as well as the enviroement plays into itcy eyes and welding..

The ADF helmets I have found can be more problematic depending on the time it takes for the lense to auto darken..

My older optrel green lens gave me itchy eyes when tig welding but was okay MIG welding.. Even at the same level of darkenss.. I believe it was because there was a delay more so one from the other as with Tig welding there was a lot more moving stuff around and start and stop with direct site of the tungsten..

I did find the newer Optrel with the blue lens was/is better than the green one..

Very rarely do I get itchy eyes with that one.. The New Miller I don't have enough seat time on..

From a martial arts standpoint We were taught not to use any sun glasses and to keep our eyes adjusted to the brightest enviroment... So they can adapt to getting all that light at once.. Kind of like having 1 gen night vision goggles on and someone hitting the light switch.. Or a flash bang going off..


Your eyes will bug out.. I have noticed especially today with full sun and band new snow with ice sheet on top my eyes were more affected and tonight they actually hurt.. But I was outside 90% of the day so much brightness with much dry winter air..

I don't wear sunglasses ever.. Okay.. I wear auto dark (monochromatic) bike glasses when I moutainbike to keep desbris and wind out of my eyes when cruising down the hill..

I have found wind to be a major player as to sore eyes..
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:15 AM
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"The New Miller I don't have enough seat time on"

Jen, you DO know that's not the end they go on, right??!?



Sorry, old smart-asses can NEVER resist a good straight line - Happy New Year... Steve
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BukitCase View Post
"The New Miller I don't have enough seat time on"

Jen, you DO know that's not the end they go on, right??!?



Sorry, old smart-asses can NEVER resist a good straight line - Happy New Year... Steve
I don't want hijack this thread, but yes it does go on, and on..

To add insult to injury I just bought a TI with PAPR.. I decided I want to take care of my lungs as well.. Should be here next week..
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My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

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Old 01-08-2016, 06:19 PM
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I don't use an auto darkening helmet because I am too cheap to buy a several hundred dollar helmet and too worried about my eyes to use a cheapy. I do notice the difference right away if I weld with the cheapy.

Both my grandpas are/were legally blind due to macular degeneration. I wear good polarized sunglasses most of the time I am outside. I consider myself to be very light sensitive, so it is uncomfortable to be outside without my sunglasses.. My wife tells me that my blue eyes probably contribute to that discomfort.
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:42 PM
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I am with you Kev, I am also what has been considered "light sensitive"

However, the older I get, the more I notice I do not see as well at night. No more driving without the headlights I guess.

I am, however too damn cheap to not use a cheapie AD helmet, and have used one for years now. I am on my second one, which is not as good as the first, but the headband broke on the first, and I cannot use it anymore. I do notice if I don't have it turned up to the point of almost not seeing the puddle I can end up with a headache after welding for the day. I also noticed the intensity of light from the arc of stick vs mig is MUCH different.

I have a couple of friends that are welders by trade, and the one has a speedglass helmet complete with air attachment, but he rarely uses it, instead opts for the $15 fixed shade helmet because its easier. The other has a snap on helmet that he uses for grinding (clear glass only with air), and also uses a $15 cheapie for welding as well. I am starting to see a pattern.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:48 AM
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I am fan of the cheap Auto darks, and used them ever since I bought a Esab and a Millar back in the 90's and they both crapped out.

I have had a failure of a cheap one after leaving it out in the rain by mistake.

I notice no problems at all with them and FINALLY the damn things are starting to come out with holders for cheater lens. That caused me to spend a hundred bucks on a new one, and keep the other one for a spare.

The light of mig welding is much greater than the light from stick welding and the instruction chart with my new one has a minimum recommended settings for mig welding depending on volt and wire size. Basically anyone with the little 180 amp welders has no worries, but when using .45 wire and 26+ volts is recommended never less than a 12 shade setting.

Ventilation is a subject seldom tackled. I know I will never use a goofy filter thingy, but I recognize that welding smoke is a ventilation issue. Of much greater contamination source and one often ignored is the products of oxy torches and a plasma torch. This stuff is a mixture of gas and particulate matter, which is worse than just gasses from welding, IMHO.
If for some reason, when torching or plasma cutting, ventilation is not correct, I can taste it in my mouth very quickly. Has a dry dust taste that makes you want to swallow, and as our lungs can't swallow to clear themselves....
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