Since childhood, we have been told that it is dangerous to look at sparks when welding without special protective glasses. Allegedly, you can permanently lose your sight. Is this so, found out from an ophthalmologist.

What happens if you look at welding?

If you look at welding, you can get a corneal burn and severe pain, says professor, doctor of medical sciences, ophthalmologist Vyacheslav Kurenkov.

“In case of electrophthalmia (an inflammatory eye disease that occurs, among other things, due to the light radiation of welding – ed.), the anterior segment of the eye is affected in a person. At the same time, the patient develops a very strong corneal syndrome, when he cannot open his eyes, feels severe pain and pain in the eyes, lacrimation, ”the expert told .

Symptoms of the disease, said Kurenkov, are determined by the severity of the corneal burn. There are four degrees of severity of this kind of damage:

  • with a mild degree of burn, redness of the mucous membrane, itching, burning appear, and a decrease in the transparency of the cornea is also noted;
  • the average degree of burns is accompanied by pain and photophobia, a film forms on the surface of the conjunctiva (thin transparent tissue covering the outside of the eye and the back surface of the eyelids – ed.) and corneal erosion develops;
  • with severe eye damage during welding, a decrease in visual acuity, a significant clouding of the cornea, and eyelid tissue becomes swollen, severe pain appears, the patient experiences discomfort and a feeling of a foreign body in the eyes;
  • the fourth degree of burn damage, according to Kurenkov, leads to tissue necrosis, the patient complains of severe pain, cannot open his eyes, and conjunctival tissue is rejected. Sometimes blindness develops, and the corneal tissue becomes faded and colorless.

According to Vyacheslav Kurenkov, all these pain symptoms do not appear immediately, but after a few hours.

“Usually these symptoms appear at night, because the reaction is delayed. At first, a person simply looks at welding and does not feel anything. This is the same if you look without glasses at an ultraviolet lamp under which you sunbathe. The same eye damage with the same symptoms can occur, ”said the ophthalmologist.

There is no need to self-medicate, Kurenkov added. It is necessary to contact specialists as soon as possible.

Is it possible to go blind looking at welding?

As Vyacheslav Kurenkov explained, in practice, patients with electrophthalmia do not go blind, unless they looked at welding for a short time and they did not develop a persistent thorn (corneal clouding – ed.).

“However, in such patients, even with a mild form, a secondary infection may occur, in which the outcome of the disease may be blindness and loss of an eye,” Kurenkov said.

That is why it is impossible to categorically look at welding without special glasses, the expert emphasized, and those who, for the sake of curiosity, nevertheless did it, can later not only experience unforgettable pain, but also damage their eyesight.