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Welding and long-term vision:

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by c-10 simplex, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex

    For anyone who is or has welded as a profession (or even if just on a hobby basis), do you feel this might have affected your vision? OR it has been medically confirmed that it has affected your vision.

    Please list:

    a) How long you have welded.

    b) Your age; Everyone pretty much has to get glasses eventually irregardless of whether one has welded.

    c) Your general health.
  2. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,189


    61yrs old welding for the past 15 yrs. Excellent health (although less energy). Always wore glasses, no vision changes, still have very good near vision 20-10 near vision, without glasses. Really helps out with welding. Always careful and used a good hood.
  3. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    from MI

    I have welded a lot and I know other that have welded as much or more. I don't have welding related eye problems and neither does anyone else I know. Not a scientific study, but with ordinary precautions it doesn't seem to be an issue.
  4. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,513

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Welding can be brutally hard work on your body depending on how you work and where as well.

    My general health is good however I have had back surgery twice and now have no issues. My knees are bad from crawling around on steel and concrete etc.

    And I also have 2 bad shoulders from overhead work and carrying heavy loads on my shoulders.

    Things like heavy wraps of welding cable and lengths of steel, those things destroy your shoulders over time.

    As does doing prolonged work overhead where you are working with raised arms.

    It can also be very bad for your lungs, if you also smoke it is at least a 50% greater risk for lung cancer.
    But you can protect yourself with PPE.

    All things considered I have weathered the storm well.
    Teaching my trade for the past 15 years has helped.
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  5. A friend of mine welded professionally since he was 18 and has had flash burn a number of times.He is now 66 in excellent health has 20/20 vision without glasses . I should be so lucky!
  6. bobbyb
    Joined: Jun 28, 2009
    Posts: 151

    from ohio

    My cousin has welded for over 50 years. He is in his early 70's now and still welds everyday in his shop (where he has welded for the last 50). Still earns a living there and always had glasses and still does but no issues. Health is some grey hair though!!!
  7. dano1930
    Joined: Feb 10, 2013
    Posts: 58


    I'm only 25 I'm not a professoional welder my thoughts may not be welcome, but I'm confident in all aspects of welding just my .02 - if your using guality up to date welding protection and follow proper safety procedures there is no way that welding should have any adverse effects on your vision, "gravel eye" and thing like that happen when you don't wear proper safety equipment. nowadays there's so much research that goes into these things, the thing that I'd be more worried about that a lot of people don't really think about to much is welding fumes they can be bad for you for sure. Buy quality safety equipment and you can't go wrong that's my opinion anyway.
  8. malcolm1943
    Joined: Sep 28, 2011
    Posts: 239


    I'm 69, been welding as a hobbyist since age 13. My eyesight is normal for my age, I have to use reading glasses to read or look at the computer. My health is fairly good although 10 years in the printing industry,25 years as a heavy equipment operator/grade checker,and 12 years as a ASE auto mechanic has affected my joints with arthritis and I have a hip that is slowly degenerating. I've been welding most every day for the past two weeks replacing floorboards and patch panels on my 52 pickup. I'm sore every evening, take a couple of advil and go back at the work the next day, never expected to be in perfect health at this age, but you learn to live with the little discomforts that life throws at you.
  9. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,905

    from Rome NY

    I'm 29, and am a welder by trade. Been doing it since I was 15, and been around it all my life. My eye sight is as good today as it was when I was a kid. Flashed myself today, I thought my mask was down (not really thinking) pulled the trigger and then I knew for sure...
  10. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,759

    from California

    My vision is age related...I have been welding for about 35 years.
  11. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    Aches and pains associated with abuse of my body when I was younger, its finally catching up with me. Overall health is still good, but nothing works like it did 20 years ago. Gene
  12. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 695

    Chevy Gasser

    I'm 65, been welding since I was about 10. Another guy and myself got eye burn pretty bad in high school, we had our own helmets down but no welding booths so we got it from the other welders nearby. I have been sunburned a couple times but the worst was about 30 years ago I had a big 3 day job. I got a bad sunburn on my neck from reflected rays coming back from the underside of a tin roof. I still drive without glasses but I have to squint while reading fine print, probably average for my age. I don't believe in welding without long sleeves and gloves anymore.
  13. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,268


    Breathing the fumes should be more of a concern than any vision issue....
  14. I have been welding since I was 15, I just turned 60. When I was 10 I had to get glasses to see the chalkboard in class. I tried the magnifier lenes while welding, but as so as I took the helmet off I had to put on my glasses. I was always told by my eye doctor that my eyes would get worse with age 52 (still welding) I do not need corrective lenes and can see better than most younger people I know. I can read the fine print on a medicine bottle and read road signs from a mile away....I have always used a 10 or 12 lenes when welding.

    weld on......
  15. Vision?! My knees and shoulders are shot! Not counting my poor aching back. Welded hydraulics and mine machinery since the early '70's. Several times underground. (low coal)

    Been operated on so many times, I'm suposed to get a free sex change operation.

    My joints make so much noise when I walk/move, the only way I can sneak up on someone is in a haunted house.
  16. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 933


    No problems here thankfully.

    I wonder what the response would be to the same question in say 20 years time when those that have learned the 'close eyes and pull trigger' technique from the TV makeover shows have been at it for a while?

  17. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384


    I had cataract surgery for the first time in 2000, my second in 2003. I asked my doctor if I could weld he said no problem and that my cataract problem was not caused by welding. He told me they don't know what causes them to develop.
  18. I'm 58, started welding at age 16 in high school. Took other gas and arc welding classes at college. Spent a lot of time up to age 30 welding on my own cars, cars where I worked and on stock cars. Did too much oxy-acetylene cutting with just sun glasses for protection. I still weld now and then, but have an auto-darkening helmet that works great.

    I'm in the gym 4 days a week and I run 5-6 miles a week all year round. My general health is good, although currently recovering from a car accident back injury.

    I've always worn glasses and my eyesight is stable. I do have not-so-great night vision, much worse in the rain. I started getting this at age 21, I think from being flashed too many times. I'm a candidate for cataract surgery in about 10 years, I too asked about welding exposure and the eye doc said that has nothing to do with it.

  19. kscarguy
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,571


    I have done far more damage to my eyes by grinding without safety glasses than I ever did by welding (35 years welding - on and off).
  20. I'll be 65 in july,welding off-n-on 30+- years.I take vitamins that help with eye health and vision got better in a 1 year period.
  21. Pops1532
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 544

    from Illinois

    The causes of cataracts are well known....
    Ultraviolet light
    are just some of the known causes.
    There is evidence that suggests that cataracts attributed to aging can at least be partially attributed to UV.
  22. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,260

    Dan Timberlake

    Which vitamins worked for you? Did you symptoms include loss of close up focus. like reading?


    Dan T
  23. Bobert
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 820

    Member Emeritus

    I was looking for this kind of reply. Had cataract surgery on one eye 2 weeks ago, went well, other eye last Thursday complications but should turn out ok. I know that one type of cataract is caused or sped along by chemotherapy and steroids and is the more difficult to remove. But hey, I can see again! Now for reading glasses.
  24. Just 1A day for over 50.I'm near sighted,Bausch&Lomb makes
    some that have luetien(sp)for eye health.
  25. cheepsk8
    Joined: Sep 5, 2011
    Posts: 554

    from west ky

    20 odd years ago, our company mandated that we were to wear safety glasses under our hoods. We were issued auto darkening Jackson brand hoods.
    I until then did not use auto darkening lenses. The safety glasses are supposed to block 95% of the dangerous UV rays put out from the arc. In case of hood failure or if you are within eyesight of another weldor. I am 51 with no ill effects that I know of except for reading cheaters. As above, the fumes are far more dangerous than the occasional flash IMHO.
  26. I teach welding 8 hrs every day for about 6 months out of the year. As a result, I've had my eyes flash burned more times than I can count; even with proper safety gear and setup.

    I KNOW it is affecting my vision, especially in the last couple of years. Whether that would be the case under a good quality helmet, I can't say. I welded a lot (NOT every day) for years prior to teaching and my vision seemed fine then. I have never used an auto-dark helmet except in an emergency.
  27. c-10 simplex
    Joined: Aug 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,331

    c-10 simplex

    Were the times you got flashed the result of someone just starting to weld without warning anyone(i've had that happen and couldn't believe someone would do that) or you got flashed under the helmet (not sure how that is possible?)?
  28. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,043


    One fact many people miss concerning welding and metal fabrication. It is the fitter who generally has vision impairment as a result of welding flash. I know welders who have never had a flash burn. I do think they may have some vision impairment from the long hours of looking at the intense light. However working as a Iron worker-fitter -welder for many years I have vision impairment from the many many flash burns I have received
    through the years. Often when installing structural steel members I would get a piece in position and just as I was about to say "tack it" my welder would strike an arc before I turned my face away. Also welding in an environment with reflective surfaces, such as stainless vessels or galvanised decking or sheeting will cause reflective rays to give a flash burn. The main issue for me is looking into shadows or dim lit areas. I now use a light focused on what ever I am welding before I even strike an arc. I also use a light under the hood of a vehicle even in daylight.
  29. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    I recently had to have an exam to renew my drivers license and I was afraid she'd say I need to wear glasses but I sailed right through. I'm the only one in my family that does not wear glasses. I'm 68 and do pull out the "cheaters" for fine print. I have magnifying lenses in my helmet. I do not attribute this to 50 years of welding...just old age. When people say what a bitch that it is in getting old... I always say it beats the alternative.:D
  30. That's most often the case. When we do the basic welding comps, our shop is set up with tables and screens, not dedicated booths.

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