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Old 03-19-2008, 07:38 PM
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safety glasses and slag

Last night was miserable. Yesterday, the weather here was pretty good so I did some welding outside. I have nice, tough glasses (with marks to show they've stopped things from getting to my eyes) and usually don't wear safety glasses under my welding helmet. Near dusk, the wind became gusty and may have contributed to some little piece of slag (I think) getting into the corner of my left eye. It was just an annoyance, not painful, so I finished and gathered up tools, expecting it to come out with normal blinking, eye-watering or a shower.

It didn't come out, it moved and became extremely painful. That first sharp stab triggered a reflex and I rubbed my eyelid. Naturally, that made it worse. It was getting late by this time -- I couldn't drive one-eyed, my wife has said for the last few years that she can't see in the face of oncoming traffic at night, and I was too pig-headed to wake my son to haul me an hour's drive (one way) to the nearest emergency room. I blinked and tugged and wiped and suffered.

At one time I even had my video camera set up on 'macro' focus, using it and my 36" tv to look behind the upper and lower eyelids. (It's weird working from a camera's view after being trained to see the inverse of reality by mirrors). I pulled a 3" front surface mirror from the back of a reflector telescope and used it with a 7x magnifier to try to find the little sharp-edged devil. Sometime early this morning, amongst the magnifying glasses, tissue paper, swabs and eye-washes, there was a sudden relief. Something must've come out. It was enough to allow me to finally get to sleep.

When I woke up the eye was all glued together, but it wasn't so painful I wanted to take a shop-vac and suck the whole thing out any more. It's just itchy and scratchy and aggravating now. Must've needed the sleep because it was afternoon and too late to take a trip to the local doctors' office.

The information and warnings in Burned Eyes makes me think I'd better let a doc take a look at it tomorrow. Don't want an infection eating it up and there might still be something in there.

Here's the thing that makes this worthy of a slobbering idiot award: I have new safety glasses still in the package in my truck. Spring fever must've melted what was left of my brain.

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Old 03-19-2008, 07:57 PM
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Maybe 6-8 years back I ended up with a tiny speck of burned metal from grinding. It stuck real good. I could latch onto it with toothpick but it would not scrape off.

So, down to the eye doctor. He had a 22 yr old girl from Portugal as a trainee from a student exchange program. Anyways, I barely got in the door and they had me on the chair...sprayed something to: "help loosen & desensitize". Then let that set for maybe 2 minutes. Then he had a probe tool and flicked it off in 2 seconds. The bill was $289 (he knew I had insurance ), and I was only there 10 minutes including filling out the forms

All I could think about was what that girl thought about America

He told me I should ALWAYS come in for that, because it could grow over and need to be surgically removed. I think if it was a cut metal sliver it could, but these are just hot burned specks. I let them fall off on their own now next morning they are off.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:16 PM
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As much as I can't stand having anything done around my eyes (I got very queasy just reading your posting), I'm going to make this a temporary sticky so others may find benefit from your misfortune. Keep us posted as to other developements.



In a while, Chet.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:34 PM
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So one day many years back, I was standing in front of a warehouse bay talking to some of the guys, and a sudden breeze gusts through, and blows some stuff in my eye.
No big deal right? It's just some dirt, I thought. Go home, wash it out, starts to hurt like heck.

I do the right thing, go to the hospital. Doc says, no big deal, little speck of metal, and scrapes it off.

So I think everything is ok, and go home. Next morning I have rust tracks running down my eyeball.

Turns out the hospital doc didn't have a clue as to what he was doing.

Makes my eyes water just thinking about it, but I had to get an emergency visit to a specialist, have him get mad at me every time I blinked when he tried to poke this HUGE needle straight into my eye, then had him grind it all off!

So, never mind not actually doing anything that I should have been wearing safety glasses for, I still paid through the nose, emergency room visit and trip to a specialist.

But as far as I'm concerned, your eyes are just about the most important part of your body, and I do everything I can to protect them.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnitz
As much as I can't stand having anything done around my eyes (I got very queasy just reading your posting), I'm going to make this a temporary sticky so others may find benefit from your misfortune. Keep us posted as to other developements.



In a while, Chet.
I almost backed out of going to the doc today, but two things kept me from it:
1. My wife called before I got up.
2. You made this thing 'sticky' and called for follow-up. (Just remember the "temporary" part, please).

Eyelids were glued together when I woke up this morning. No pain, still itchy. After getting the eye open, it felt almost normal. Went outside in the wind and sunshine and it immediately started watering and itching like crazy. I assume it was from the damage that was inflicted either by the slag (or steel?) or by my self-administered 'doctoring'. Didn't have a doctor's appointment -- was told to come in around 2:30 this afternoon and they would find time to look at it.

The nurse informed me that they would have to ask a lot of questions because, "You haven't been here in about 3 years. Where have you been going, that is, where are your records?" I told her, "Here; so whatever you have is it." She did the weight, blood pressure, temperature and family history routine, then tortured me with the right-angle flashlight/magnifier thing.

I showed off my hotrodders.com tee shirt and told about this forum, Mr.Wood, the Burned Eyes thread and oldred. (Every time something having to do with welding or air compressors comes up, I think of oldred's warnings and advice. Too bad I didn't follow it).

After the nurse, the doctor came in and repeated the bright light, spreading my eyelids and some more interrogation. (No rubber hose was involved, except the blood pressure thingy). The nurse had a good laugh over the tale of the video camera and tv and had me repeat it for the doctor.

The doctor assured me several times that I had not scratched or otherwise damaged the cornea. He prescribed some eyedrops (2 drops every 2 hours until empty) and said if it's not healed, including the slight blurring of vision in my left eye, by Monday he would send me to a specialist.

That's about it. $3.95 worth of eyedrops. He said I must have gotten all the particles out because he couldn't find any. The swelling of the eyelids is almost gone, as is the reddening of the left half of my left eye. I can blink without pain but need sunglasses outside.

A night of misery, a day of pain, a day of aggravation and an afternoon spent being poked and prodded just because I didn't wear safety glasses over my eyeglasses while chipping slag. D'oh!
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:31 PM
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Grouch, I'm temporarily un-sticking this thread. Strictly in an effort to do the most "veiwabilty" (I hope that is a word, if it isn't a word, it is now...) and to do the most good for all members. Once the posts start tapering off, then it will be stickied. Too informative to not read. It's bad that it happened, but if just one member can learn from your misfortune, then I believe it'll be worth it.


In a while, Chet.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:50 PM
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I wanted the little Dremel looking tool the doctor used to get the metal out of my eye the first time it happened, it was really neat looking and cordless. The second time time it happened he got the metal out with a needle.

To this day my brother still has a little rust ring in his eye from "letting it take care of itself". Apparently the rust will never go completely away without surgery. Luckily in his case, it was well away from the pupil area.

Funny you mentioned the shopvac thing grouch. I was thinking the same thing except it would have been an attempt at sucking the metal out of my eye. I couldn't find my vacuum though, must've put it away with my home surgery kit that I can't find either.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:54 AM
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I've found a great pair of safety glasses with bi-focals in them, both bottoms and tops where car guys need to see without getting neck spasms. Only problems they have is a bad reflection when using them under a welding hood. For welding I have an over size pair of cheap reading glasses.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BstMech
To this day my brother still has a little rust ring in his eye from "letting it take care of itself". Apparently the rust will never go completely away without surgery. Luckily in his case, it was well away from the pupil area.
Even thinking about eye surgery gives me the creeps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BstMech
Funny you mentioned the shopvac thing grouch. I was thinking the same thing except it would have been an attempt at sucking the metal out of my eye. I couldn't find my vacuum though, must've put it away with my home surgery kit that I can't find either.
My eyeball must be directly connected to whatever part of the brain handles good judgment -- if the former suffers, the latter runs away.

Hey, where can I get the home surgery kit? HF?
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:52 PM
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Unfortunately, I became a regular at the DR'd office for items in my eyes. With me, it don't matter if I am wearing safety glasses or not, I still get stuff in my eyes. I actually never got anything in my eyes where I needed to go to the MD until I started wearing prescription glasses. Now I can walk across my yard and get something into my eyes, right past my glasses. I have even gotten stuff in them when wearing safety glasses and even goggles.

Here is a little tip for eye injuries.

Your eye will heal faster than any other part of your body. That means, if you get something in it, and it is not removed soon enough, the eye will heal right over it, requiring surgery to remove the item. Been there Done that!

Besides healing fast, it will also become infected quickly. Another reason to go ot the MD!

If your eye is watering, after you think you got the item out, there is a good chance there is still something in there. Go to the MD and get it checked out.

One advantage to an eye injury when going to an emergency room for treatment is, they will take you in a lot quicker.

Aaron
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:45 AM
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When I still ran my shop we had more eye injuries from one unlikely source more than anything else- ladders! Why would a ladder be a hazard to the eyes? A heck of a lot of the things we had in the shop required ladders and since the ladder would then wind up under welding/grinding operations a large amount of slag, grinding dust and other debris would accumulate on the steps. When moving the ladder the natural tendency is to look up at the top of it as you stand it up or fold it to move it and when you do all that junk that accumulated on the steps will simply fall right into your face! While most home projects don't involve nearly as much dangerous debris as we produced moving a ladder can still be a good way to dump junk/tools (paint maybe? ) onto yourself. Since this debris came from overhead we had several fairly serious eye injuries from ladder debris even though safety glasses were mandatory. After this happened a few times in a couple of years I had warning labels printed up and attached to the ladders at eye level reminding everyone of the hazards, seems there was always a new guy or someone who just didn't learn but the labels did make a big difference.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:27 AM
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EyE Stuff

Call me crazy, but it works.

Metal sliver in my eye. I was lyin underneath my Warlock p/u and drilling out a broken and rusted box bolt. With saftey glasses on. All went well until I put the drill down. I picked up a new bolt to replace the drilled out one and removed the dirty glasses to wipe the dust off and metal fell from the hole I was drilling. As it hit my eye my reflex was to grab my eye and that set the grit into it... Ouch!

I tried all the usual stuff to no avail. Okay, here are the two things that almost always work. If it is metal in the eye, carefully pass a strong permanent magnet as close as you dare to the area and if there is any steel in the grit it should suck it out. Once you think the metal is out slice a raw spud in half and apply it to you eye socket. Allow the moisture to soak in. Not sure what it is in the spud, but it will take the soreness out 'el-pronto'
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:56 PM
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I can tell you one thing that is in that spud, Bacteria! Go back and read the sticky on "burned eyes" it is a real "Eye opener" on potatoes and the eyes. Never, never, EVER put potatoes on an injured/burned eye! Doing this can lead to an infection that could very well cause blindness in the affected eye. Fellows your eyes are much too valuable to trust to an old urban legend type of treatment and this old welders trick of using potatoes has caused grief to more than one. The usual argument for doing this is that some old time welder has done it for years and says it works but when you get an infection in that eye do you go to the old timer for help or the doctor who would warn you NOT to do this. Big D, I know you never even mentioned welding or burned eyes but that is where this old (and ill advised) remedy originally came from and burned or cut the danger from doing this is the same thing, a potentially blinding infection. Never put a non-sterile substance in your eyes especially an injured eye!
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:24 PM
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Other sources of eye inkuries are eye brows, hair, and hats. When you are done grinding, drilling, or whatever that causes eye dangers, make sure that you clean yourself above your eyes as good as you can, before removing safety glasses. I have gotten stuff from my eye brows and hair, back when I had some , in my eyes after taking my glasses off. When doing any grinding and such, I also turn my hat (ball cap type) around. The bill from that cap can and will re-direct objects into your eyes.

You only have 2 eyes. Take care of them.

Aaron
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Old 03-22-2008, 07:40 PM
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A three inch , folded over, piece of monofilament fishing line is a very effective tool for removing not imbedded particles. You can hardly see it so the tendency to blink is lessened and it won't damage or push particles further into the eye. Might be a good idea to wipe the fish slime off it first.
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