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Eye and Vision Care

eye irritation

06/03/2011

Question:

what over the counter eye drops would help for minor flash burn from welding? I have eye drops with the ingredient: zinc sulfate, is this one that will help?

Answer:

Welder's flash burn is like a sunburn to the eyes. They will typically heal in a day or two. Resting with a cool washcloth over the eyes can be helpful. I do not recommend any eye drops for these cases that have not been prescribed by an eye doctor.

If the pain is intense, or does not feel better within 24 hours, you should see your eye doctor right away as further treatment may be required.

And of course, try to prevent this from occurring again. When welding always wear an approved face shield and approved glasses with side shields. Often these burns will occur from reflected light that gets around the face shield.

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Response by:

Andrew J Toole, OD, PhD, FAAO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University