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Cataract surgery & resulting welding vision problems?

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  • Cataract surgery & resulting welding vision problems?

    Been having a heck of a time seeing my welds through my helmet.

    Never had a problem seeing where I'm going with my Mig before and been all over the place lately...but just realized that I had cataract surgery (both eyes) last year. Even bought a full face auto darkening adjustible mask. Too light of a setting...all I see is a bright ball, when I darkening it, the ball of light goes away...but I can't see where I'm going.

    I have several hood/masks...anyone else have this situation..or is just me? May need to use a spotlight on the welding area?????

  • #2
    I dislike auto darkening for that same reason, even the best of them tend to do that to my eyes. For GMAW/GTAW/FCAW, I don't see the benefit since these processes are trigger controlled. Or, in other words, only SMAW do I see the benefit of auto darkening as arc strikes can be limited to the weld area or lead-in pad, if used. When I used an automatic with triggered processes, I blinked when starting, eliminating the flash.

    I'm getting a good assortment of shades and eventually, a 1.5-2 power magnifier for the tiny stuff. I wear glasses as I am profoundly far sighted, my optometrist said I am one year from needing bifocals. I also have clip-on neutral density sunglasses I use to fine tune the welding shade, they are worth about 1/2 point which works well in the 40 amp and lower GTAW range with a shade 8 on the helmet.

    I believe the fixed focal length of your cataract surgery implanted lens is another issue you are dealing with. You might discuss this with your ophthalmologist.

    Comment


    • #3
      I also have a problem seeing the puddle and I did have cataract surgery 2 years ago.

      I had never done any Tig welding before this last year so I have no reference but I find it hard as **** to see right.

      Mig is also giving me a problem.

      I had a variable 9-13 Hobart auto and just bought a Radnor wide view 7-13 auto. Still getting used to it but not real happy with it either, still can't see where I am going or the puddle. I do like the large viewing area tho. Getting frustrated but feel a little better knowing it is not just me.

      I am using 2.5 cheater lens in the helmet, same as with my old one.

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE=Keith_J;269942]I dislike auto darkening for that same reason, even the best of them tend to do that to my eyes. For GMAW/GTAW/FCAW, I don't see the benefit since these processes are trigger controlled. Or, in other words, only SMAW do I see the benefit of auto darkening as arc strikes can be limited to the weld area or lead-in pad, if used. When I used an automatic with triggered processes, I blinked when starting, eliminating the flash.

        QUOTE]


        OK, but to rehash decades old information, automatic lenses provide 100% protection in the light shade. They don't have to turn to protect your eyes.
        So blinking may make you "feel" better but it doesn't do anything for your eyes.
        There may not be a benifit to you, but there are about a bunch of work situations where an auto lens makes the job much easier, faster and more pleasant for the welder.
        J

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't care what the label on the helmet says, my first generation helmet (called a DQF) would leave me with 'tired' eyes. This one have transition speeds like 1/2000 of a second.

          The Miller Elite and Digital Elite are much much more comfortable. They have an advertised switching speed of 1/20000 of a second and the digital elites have a sensor that will trigger when the high frequency of the TIG fist starts.

          Now, those of use past 40 will have difficulties focusing on close objects. I have used cheaters from 2.5 to 1.0 diopters. Right now, using the 1.0 - the 2.5 just made me too blind for anything else - kinda bothered me. However, the optometrist suggested around 2.0-2.5. They are cheap enough, I might try to experiment a little more.

          A couple things that will help. There are differences in auto-dark helmets. Try some others. I understand the coloration in the Optrels are really nice (slightly reduce viewing). The Miller's are less green than most, but I understand the Optrels are pretty much 'blue'.

          The other thing that really helps is clean lens (internal) and something covering the back of your head. That light coming in the back is worse than you can imagine. And if that something keeps your hair (what's left of it) from catching fire - bonus!

          Comment


          • #6
            have you ever tried to set the sensetivity?mine was ficking dark to late til i adjusted the sensetivty now it flips into dark mode right away.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BOWTIEGUY View Post
              Been having a heck of a time seeing my welds through my helmet.

              Never had a problem seeing where I'm going with my Mig before and been all over the place lately...but just realized that I had cataract surgery (both eyes) last year. Even bought a full face auto darkening adjustible mask. Too light of a setting...all I see is a bright ball, when I darkening it, the ball of light goes away...but I can't see where I'm going.

              I have several hood/masks...anyone else have this situation..or is just me? May need to use a spotlight on the welding area?????
              I suspect that the problem you're experiencing relates more to the power of the eyeglass lenses you use when welding, rather than the shade in the helmet. The appropriate lens power is determined by the distance your eyes are from the object you're trying to view. In effect... if your eye-to-work distance is 16", then a lens power of +2.50 diopters would most likely be best.

              Since I like to get close to my work, I prefer to clip on a +3.50 diopter halfeye flip-up. I did a little tig work, tonight, and could see the arc and bead perfectly. If I relied on just my progressive lenses, I would weld like a blind man.

              A rule-of-thumb to determine the correct lens power is to measure the distance from eyes to work piece in meters. The reciprocal of that distance becomes the power of the lens to give the best focus. Example: a 0.25 (1/4) meter (10") distance converts to a +4.00 diopter lens.

              The upper clip-on in the attached photo is my +3.50. It is the only one of that power I have left, and can't find a source for more. But, the lower, full-field clip-on can be modified to a halfeye by removing the lower half of the lenses. The good thing is that the full-field type is still available.

              BTW... I'm a retired optometrist, and will be glad to entertain any questions.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Goodhand; 08-03-2011, 01:04 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have found that putting a single-lense halogen work light on my bench clears up the problem you have described. They are about $10 and work like magic. Only down side is that they chew up electricity.

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=JTMcC;269950]
                  Originally posted by Keith_J View Post
                  I dislike auto darkening for that same reason, even the best of them tend to do that to my eyes. For GMAW/GTAW/FCAW, I don't see the benefit since these processes are trigger controlled. Or, in other words, only SMAW do I see the benefit of auto darkening as arc strikes can be limited to the weld area or lead-in pad, if used. When I used an automatic with triggered processes, I blinked when starting, eliminating the flash.

                  QUOTE]


                  OK, but to rehash decades old information, automatic lenses provide 100% protection in the light shade. They don't have to turn to protect your eyes.
                  So blinking may make you "feel" better but it doesn't do anything for your eyes.
                  There may not be a benifit to you, but there are about a bunch of work situations where an auto lens makes the job much easier, faster and more pleasant for the welder.
                  J
                  Protection doesn't always equal comfort. Or proper focus. Cataract surgery involves an implant which makes focusing difficult. Secondly, the ease of focusing is dependent on the light level and corresponding iris diameter, lower the light and the hyperfocal distance (range at which items are in focus) is markedly decreased. If you have ever used an SLR camera with a depth of field preview, you will note smaller aperture (higher F-stop) settings have greater depth of field. Or why portrait lenses (like a 105mm F 1.8 for 35mm) are so expensive (fast glass). The same axiom holds in your eyes for they are cameras of sorts.

                  Another issue with many setups are internal reflections. Sure, mirror coatings are a good thing when pushing 150 amperes but for precise work, anti-reflective coatings help a BUNCH. Especially on eyeglasses. Same with a back cover on the head, if you can stand it. I'm lucky to work in AC comfort.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I wear a near-vision prescription and a distance prescription for driving. The driving glasses stay in my truck.

                    The clarity of plain lenses works better for me than autodark.

                    Agree with the backcover on the head. I glued a leather flap to my Pipeliner which works well.

                    Also agree on additional light. The electricity use will be trivial compared to welding.

                    I use a Shade 8 with a gold coating. By the time the light gets through the accumulated barriers (outer clear lens, tinted lens, inner clear lens, glasses) it's attenuated quite a bit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gwiley View Post
                      I have found that putting a single-lense halogen work light on my bench clears up the problem you have described. They are about $10 and work like magic. Only down side is that they chew up electricity.

                      The single bulb halogen works I am familiar with are 500 watt lights. I find these tend to cause eye burn after welding all day if they are placed too near the work area. A work distance of 8 feet seems to make for easier viewing without hurting my eyes.

                      My .02,

                      HAWK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Goodhand View Post
                        A rule-of-thumb to determine the correct lens power is to measure the distance from eyes to work piece in meters. The reciprocal of that distance becomes the power of the lens to give the best focus. Example: a 0.25 (1/4) meter (10") distance converts to a +4.00 diopter lens . . . BTW... I'm a retired optometrist, and will be glad to entertain any questions.
                        OK, I have a question. Why is it that the distance remains the same but with age the need for a different diopter shows up? Used to use a 1.5, then a 2 and now a 2.5
                        Thanks in advance for your reply

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nitesky View Post
                          OK, I have a question. Why is it that the distance remains the same but with age the need for a different diopter shows up? Used to use a 1.5, then a 2 and now a 2.5
                          Thanks in advance for your reply
                          Focal length of the eye's lens changes with age. The magnification is based on the distance your eye is away from the object. The diopter correction just allows a normal focal length.

                          This is for hyperopia and presbyopia. Far-sightedness and aging eyes. If that second term sounds like a Protestant faith, that is because that certain Christian belief system was founded in the elders leading the church.

                          Cataracts are a problem in my family. And I already am hyperopic and on the cusp for being diagnosed with presbyopia. But I still feel young at heart.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you. Got a chuckle out of the explanation too.

                            Must be complicated to figure out since I wear thick pop bottles for near-sightedness. Thankfully there are corrective lenses so I can attempt to weld

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              cataract surgery

                              I am going to be a candidate for cataract surgery in the near future, I am wondering what the outcome will do to my welding. I do low amp tig work with 4.0 diopter reading glasses thru a speed glas autodarkening helment.

                              My auto dark helmets do lack in clarity, I have a 100 watt shop light that I direct onto the work which helps.

                              I am wondering if the cataract surgery will hinder my vision of the weld puddle etc., maybe put it off as long as possible?

                              Comment

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