Wearing eye protection is a crucial aspect of welding because without the correct protection, you can't sustainably continue welding for very long without permanently damaging your eyesight. And because some types of damage to your eyesight might not be noticed until much later, you also need to make sure you have the highest-quality eye protection possible in order to prevent any possibility of long-term damage that you don't notice until it's too late.
Here are three ways in which high-quality eye protection (such as welding helmets, masks and goggles) can keep you and your eyesight safe while welding, whether you do it for a living or just as an occasional hobby.
1. Keep Sparks and Metal out of Your Eyes
If you work in the welding industry, it's easy to feel overconfident when welding is something you do on a daily basis and you're a true expert at it. It can be hard to imagine that injuries would actually happen to you, but the numbers are against you because your chances of injury (and the likely severity of any injuries you sustain) go up if you don't protect yourself.
Metal dust, sparks and other bits of debris can fly right into your eyes while you work, but correctly used, high-quality eye protection will bar entry for any and all of these potentially damaging items.
2. Protect Your Eyes From the Bright Lights
It's true that it can be annoying to wear a welding helmet in some situations. It's sometimes difficult to actually see anything other than the arc (such as the weld, for example). This fact is especially true when you're using a new helmet and still getting used to it and fine-tuning the settings and so on. However, the brightness of the welding arc can actually cause several types of damage to your eyes.
Not only can it be annoying to have the image of the arc flash burned into your field of vision (which is generally a temporary form of damage), but so much light is produced that your eyes aren't equipped to handle it. Without proper equipment, you can quickly develop eyestrain and temporary blindness that may prevent you from doing any more welding until you've recovered.
High-quality welding helmets can adjust from moderate levels of shading to extreme levels of shading so that no matter how bright the arc is, you can adjust the helmet to reduce the amount of visible light you see.
3. Protect Your Eyesight From Radiation
In addition to simply overwhelming your eyes with light, welding can sometimes result in other types of damage such as sunburned corneas (photokeratitis) and a painful type of conjunctivitis called arc eye, which makes it harder to use your eyes until they recover.
UV light, which causes photokeratitis and arc eye, is a type of radiation that can also make you more likely to develop cataracts over time. And it can also permanently damage your retinas enough to make you go blind if you're unprotected on a regular basis.
Fortunately, welding helmets are designed to filter out UV radiation. Some helmets (the auto-darkening types) turn their darkness settings up or down depending on whether or not a welding arc is present. But good helmets are physically UV blocking so they'll continuously block UV rays without any lag no matter what the settings are (and even if the helmet is switched off). They also block infrared rays, another type of radiation produced by welding.
As you can see, welding helmets and masks are an excellent form of eye protection that can meet and defeat every common hazard to welders' eyes and eyesight. For more information on how we can help you by providing the best quality welding masks, feel free to contact us via phone, email or our web form today!