It is a basic thing that everyone knows that we cannot look at the sun directly, it will hurt our eyes. And it is not easy as well to stare directly at the sun for a long time. I tried once; the eye became teary within few seconds. Even imagining that you are staring at the sun with bare eyes is pretty hard, it hurts already.
Looking at the sun with bare eyes could be very damaging. Our skins are way too much thicker than our eyes; imagine if they can get affected by the sun, how bad it can be for eyes! Anyways, I have seen a common question from many people which is, can I use a welding helmet to look at the sun? And I am going to answer that right in this very article with proper explanations.
Let’s get started then!
Can You Stare at the Sun Wearing a Welding Helmet?
As I said earlier, this is a common question as see a lot that would welding helmet be able to protect the eyes from the damaging rays and the answer is YES! Welding helmets can protect your eyes from getting damaged by sun rays but not all helmets have this ability. There are a bunch of helmets that come with this ability.
Use a helmet that comes with at least 12 shades. If the shade is higher that is even better but you can’t stare at sun wearing a helmet which has shade level lower than 12. According to some experts, level 13 shade helmet is the best because 14 level shade helmet is a little darker and the 12 is a little brighter.
These shades are like darker filters which protect the eyes from being exposed to UV rays and intense glares. However, if you have an old helmet and don’t which shade level it has, please never use it. Helmet with no shade won’t protect your eyes. Invest some money and get an advanced helmet.
There are some auto-darkening helmets which allow you to adjust the filter level according to your need. If you are already using or will be using an auto-darkening helmet then increase the sensitivity and reduce the delay.
What Actually Happens to Our Eyes When We Look at it Directly?
I am pretty sure, like me, you also heard it at an early age; which is if we look at the sun, we will get blind. I am not denying it, it is one hundred percent true and but it doesn’t happen that way. Before one goes blind he or she will suffer badly through different stages. If you look at the sun for even a couple of minute with bare eyes, it is going to hurt you so bad, intolerable!
As I said there will be a few stages. First, you will experience a sunburn, it will not happen immediately but it will develop at a faster pace with time. Now let’s dig little deeper so that you can understand better.
The Damaging Process
The sun shines three kinds of lights, the first one is Visible light, the second one is Infrared light and the last one is Ultraviolet light which is also called as UV light. The UV is the deadliest and does the majority of the damage compared to other lights.
When you expose the most dedicated layer of your eyes to the Ultraviolet rays in excess amount, the cornea cells of the eye burns and blisters. It will also crack the eye similar to the skin when it gets a sunburn. However, this phase is called Photokeratitis.
The effect will not get manifest instantly, that’s so obvious. You might notice or feel discomfort on your eyes after a couple of hours of staring at the sun. you will feel like you have rubbed your eyes brutally. You might feel inflamed as well. Some people can get very lucky, the effects of the sun might get disappear after a couple of hours but that can be expected they give their eyes proper rest.
Do I need to tell you more about to what extent the sun can damage your eyes when you look at it? Let’s run over a history. In 1999 there was a patient who has suffered from solar retinopathy, and that caused because of staring directly at the solar eclipse constantly from 30-minutes.
The eye retina gets overstimulated when they sense light. And when it happens the retina releases some chemicals which damages the tissues of the eyes when fully concentrated. The more damage the eye tissues take, the harder it becomes to recover the damage. However, it can still be cured which might take up to 12 months and if the tissue gets damage fully that will lead to partial blindness.
The macula is a very tiny part of the retina and is placed near the center of the retina. When the retina gets highly damaged because of excessive UV exposure that affects the macula as well. And if macula gets badly damaged you can suffer from complete blindness and the chances of cure are pretty low as well.
Can you Look at the Sun Through a Telescope?
It is a completely worst idea. You should never look at the sun using a telescope, binocular, or any similar devices. They will damage you more than the sun would if you look at it directly. And the reason is, these devices use a magnifying glass. With the help of magnifying glass and the sunray, you can light a fire, when the sunray goes through the magnifying glass it gets more powerful, I am sure you know it.
So guess when the ray will fall on your eyes through the magnifying glass, how bad it will be. That being said, if you use top-notch solar filters with it, then it is safe.
Also Read: How to use Tig Welder?
Can I use a welding helmet to look at the sun? the answer is not a mystery anymore! You can use an auto-darkening helmet to stare at the sun safety. I have added some other info’s as well so that you get a better understanding. Hope it helped!