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Arc eye! Oh, that painful experience that feels like having sand in the eyes for hours!
It’s a familiar story if you accidentally looked at a welding arc without eye protection, which usually causes blurred vision. If this has recently happened to you, its likely that you are looking for a welding eye burn home remedy to get instant relief. The good news is, you’re in the right place. That is, if you can see well enough to read this post!
Below we will discuss some home remedies for eye burn that actually work, and are recommended by optometrists. Let’s see what those remedies are and how you should do it to get the best results.
What is “arc eye”?
Have you ever suffered from sunburn in your eyes? Temporary welding blindness? This painful condition can go by a number of different names – “flash eye”, “arc eye”, “flash burn”, “welder’s flash”, “welding eye burn”, etc. We’ve found that “arc eye” tends to be the most commonly used name.
An arc eye is an awful inflammation of the cornea. It’s in the clear tissue that wraps the front of the eye. An arc or flash burn occurs when someone is exposed to harmful ultraviolet (UV) light. Though it can be caused by any types of UV light, welding torches are often a main culprit. That’s why it is called ‘arc eye’ ‘or welder’s flash.’
Is arc eye permanent?
Thankfully, no, arc eye is generally not permanent. Generally your cornea can repair itself within 2 to 3 days and as such this condition usually cures without leaving a scar. But, if the flash burns are severe and not treated, it may turn into an infection. This may lead to a partial loss of vision.
This article below will outline a number of treatment options and home remedies for welder’s flash eye burns (arc eye).
Want to prevent welder’s flash eye injury? Select the best welding helmet for your needs. Welding helmets block out the harmful UV light and protect your eyes. They are an absolutely essential piece of equipment when welding.
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Welder’s Flash (Arc Eye) Symptoms
Accidentally looked at UV light? Surely you’ve had a few times where you looked at the sun and experience eye pain and damaged vision. Welder’s Flash is essentially a very similar situation. Except in this case, the UV light is coming from the welding machine and viewing that arc flash with unprotected (or insufficiently protected) eyes.
It may do some serious damage in the eyes. Burning eyes can give a gritty sensation. In fact, the white part of your eye may look reddish or pinkish, and there may be some other unpleasant effects brought about by the burning, such as puffiness, itching, and discharge.
So how will you figure out that its Arc Eye? Here are some indications that prove you have flash burn.
- Bloodshot eyes
- Pain (mild to very severe)
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- The feeling of sticking something in your eye
How long does Arc Eye last?
The duration of welding eye burns (arc eye, welder’s flash) depends on the length of exposure as well as how long it takes the cornea to cool down after welding. In general, the symptoms can last anywhere from one day to six weeks.
The severity of the burns also depends on the type of metal being welded and how often someone has been exposed to welding flash burn.
Arc Eye Treatment: Welding Eye Burn Home Remedies
You may get various suggestions using different products to calm the stinging sensation, such as lubricating eye drops and prescription. Undoubtedly they are effective but you should only use it with a specialist’s recommendation.
If you are one of those who want to try some natural home remedies first, then consider this below list of common items that help with arc eye treatment.
Yes, you heard that right. As milk is a great remedy for skin burn, it is also helpful with arc eye. Milk has natural enzymes that work well in treating itching. At the same time, it soothes the suffering eyes and calms down the inflammation.
How to apply?
Boil milk and then allow it to cool down to get its room temperature. Then you have to dip a cotton ball in that cool milk and touch it gently on the affected eye area.
How often should you apply it?
Apply over the affected eye area and then rinse off after 3 – 5 minutes. For best results, do this twice a day.
2. Tea bags
Teabags for welders flash?
Ok, I know what you are thinking; you think I’m kidding, right?
Surprisingly enough, it’s true. Teabags contain antioxidants that soothe inflammation and combat pain. It is not only great for the flash burn but treats other eye-related problems like puffy eyes, dark circles.
A little bit surprised to see cucumber in this list?
So I researched a lot and found out Cucumber is an awesome cooling agent that is quite rich in water. As a result, it soothes the itchy, dry skin around the eye and hydrates it.
What’s the magic formula?
Take two thick cucumber slices, refrigerate for a few minutes and put them on the eyes.
Yes, it is that simple! Do this thrice a day for best results.
4. Vicks VapoRub
That ointment you use for your runny nose and headache?
Yes, that’s right.
In fact, it’s quite popular among welders for quick relief. But the truth is the jelly-like substance makes your eyes clean and watery.
Now let’s see how you are to apply it.
Carefully apply some Vicks VapoRub under the eyes. Repeat it twice daily. But first, a warning: make sure to not get any jelly into your eyes.
You can use the regular one (Vicks VapoRub). Click for details on Amazon.
5. Rose Water
Not only a beauty’s magic potion, but rose water can also be great in treating irritation from welder’s flash. The cooling sensation reduces itching and swelling.
What Do You Have To Do?
Take a cotton ball and soak it in rose water. Place them over the affected eyes and leave it for 10 minutes.
You start to worry what the right brand of rose water for arc eyes, right?
Don’t worry. Here are some of the items that impressed us most:
Potatoes! You must be joking! Do potatoes help with arc eye or welder’s flash burns?
Surprising enough, when it comes to welder’s flash treatment potatoes are quite remarkable!
What’s great is:
It offers a cooling effect that reduces inflammation around the itching eye. Meanwhile, this minimizes the suffering and relieves the irritation.
What Do You Have To Do?
All you need is a potato and washcloth. First of all, grate the potatoes and place that grated potato on a wet cloth. Place the wrapped potato in the refrigerator for around 5 minutes.
And it’s ready!
Lie down and place that wrapped potato on both eyes. Keep it 10-15 minutes.
7. Aloe Vera
Yes, those thick, green leaves can make magic!
This short-stemmed plant stores water in its leaves. Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera works great as a natural remedy to alleviate sore eyes.
How to use it?
Mix fresh aloe vera gel (2 tablespoons) into cold water, and soak cotton rounds in the mixture. Now just Place the soaked cotton on your affected eyes for 10 minutes.
8. Castor Oil
Is Castor Oil the Answer to Healing Burns and Eyes?
It will help to soothe the burn and protect the eye from infection. Here are the steps to using castor oil for welding eye burns:
- Rinse your eyes with cold water for 15 minutes.
- Apply a cold compress to your eyes for 10 minutes.
- Apply castor oil to a cotton ball and place it over your eyes.
- Leave the cotton ball in place for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the process three times a day until the irritation subsides.
- See your doctor if the symptoms don’t improve after two weeks of treatment with castor oil.
Castor oil is also a great way to prevent welding eye burns from happening in the first place. Simply apply a few drops of castor oil around the eyes before beginning work.
Some extra tips for fast relief in stinging eyes
- Rinse your eyelids with water. Rinsing can remove irritants and allergens from your eye, so that it can reduce dryness and inflammation.
- Drink more water to keep eye moisture. This is because dry eyes can trigger burning, stinging, and irritation.
- Soak a cotton cloth in warm water, and apply the warm compress over your closed eyes several times a day.
- Apply cucumber slices over the closed eye to reduce swelling, inflammation, puffiness, and burning.
- Try to avoid blue screen during the process of healing. You need to give your eyes a break.
- You can also use a slice of cool potato.
- Have more omega-3 fatty acids-rich food to get relief on dry eyes and burning. It may include tuna, salmon, anchovies, and sardines.
- Run a humidifier to maximize air moisture that relieves dry eyes.
- Try eye drops for welders flash if any of the home remedies don’t give the result. The Preservative Free Eye Drops are considered as one of the best eye drops for welding flash recovery. You want drops without preservatives as preservatives can interfere with the natural healing of your eye.
Home remedies for red eyes due to welding
The above list of arc eye home remedies can also help with more routine red eyes that Welders often experience.
The bright light and heat can cause the eyes to become irritated and red. There are a few home remedies that can help reduce the redness.
One is to use a cold compress on the eyes. This will help reduce inflammation.
Another is to use artificial tears or eye drops. This will help lubricate the eyes and reduce irritation. But its generally best to get drops without preservatives.
Finally a word on prevention… it is important to take breaks during welding to give your eyes a chance to rest. This will help prevent red eyes from welding.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do you treat a welding burn?
Answer: In most cases, apply something to cool on that intense sunburn. You can try aloe vera as first aid, but it’s generally recommended to use a topical steroid as it gives a lot more relief.
2. Does welding ruin your eyes?
Answer: Undoubtedly, arc eye is pretty painful. But the good news is that most of these injuries are preventable. More specifically, fully 95% of arc injuries are back at the workplace within a week and over 50% return within two days.
3. How long does it take for arc eye to show up?
Answer: In a plain words, these symptoms may not be visible until 6-12 hours. However, Vision returns after 18 hours usually. The surface of the cornea heals typically within 24 to 48 hours.
4. What does welders flash feel like?
Answer: Flash burn symptoms include red eyes, burning watery eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and annoying feeling like you have something odd in your eye.
5. How do you stop a weld from burning?
Answer: Well, it’s literally impossible to stop it. But be careful and use flame-resistant earmuffs or earplugs to keep sparks away of ears when welding. Also, don’t forget to Wear oil-free garments such as a heavy shirt, leather gloves, high shoes, cuffless pants, and a cap.
In conclusion, a welding eye burn can be a very painful and unpleasant experience. The article has given a few home remedies that may help with the pain and discomfort of a welding eye burn.
In order to prevent this from happening, it is recommended to wear protective gear to shield the eyes from the sparks from the weld.