Eye Health: sunburned eyes?

Almost 10 years ago (hard to believe!) I worked at a small lamp shop in Brooklyn NY which focused on historic restorations and replications of some really incredible fixtures. We occasionally needed to hire extra welders when big projects came in. Once, we hired a welder from a reputable Manhattan welding school. As a welder myself, I was horrified to see that this new welder refused to use a face mask, or any kind of eye protection. He insisted that he “didn’t need it” and although the shop safety manager demanded that he wear the mask, we kept catching him operating the Tig welder without eye protection. The next day the welder came in complaining that he couldn’t sleep at all, couldn’t close his eyes without feeling that he had sand in his eyes. As we had predicted the day before, he had severely burned his eyes by looking directly into the weld, a light source high in ultraviolet energy.

Apparently you can achieve this same effect, as a sun-burn. This report is a great reminder to wear sunglasses with UV protection on sunny, and even on bright-cloudy days.

REPORT: New York Times, sunburned eyes.