A question from the field

I purchased a pair of your glasses 4 or more years ago. Lately, I’ve noticed that my eyes are hurting when I am done at the end of the day. Does the filter material “wear out” over time?

Answer: No. The filter elements are part of the glass matrix and cannot/do not fade. Welding filter glass uses iron as the major filtering element. AUR-92/ACE glass uses didymium/neodymium/praesodymium plus other “rare earth” elements. These elements are mixed in with the silica when the glass is being melted by the manufacturer.

The manufacturer of the glass routinely tests its glass over time, keeping samples of each melt and subjecting them to various tests to determine transmission over time and exposure. Schott Glass Technologies, for example, has samples of didymium that go back over 50 years, and that glass still has the same transmission characteristics that it had when it was first made.

What is more likely is that over time, your skills have improved from the time you first bought your glasses. You may be working longer hours, you may be using different techniques, and you are certainly working with different formulations of borosilicate glass (especially the colors). You may also be doing more fuming now than you did when you first got your glasses.

The bottom line is that you have perhaps “out grown” your current filters and most likely need something with more filtration.


What does cataract surgery cost?

Per eye, approximately $7,200.

My mother, still “young” (in her early 70’s), just had cataract surgery in both eyes over a two month period of time.

$14,400 for both eyes. Plus not having perfect vision for up to 2-3 weeks afterwards, having to avoid bright lights for 6-8 weeks. If my mother had been a torch worker, she would have been out of work for close to 4 months.


From LE…

hey have any of you ever had an extra light glare around stuff or had your eyes get so dry that it kinda blurs your vision? i wear the phillips green ace shade 3s, i really love them, but my left eye is kinda funky now. i had lasik surgery done a while ago and that might be it too but i honestly feel like my vision is deteriorating and my eyes go dry really easily. i work medium size boro like usually 3-6 inch vessels, and pendants. i also fume and use a lot of striking colors i dont know if that makes a difference. i lampwork about 2 t tanks of hours a week and furnace work with just clear safety glasses 8ish hours a week.
anyone got any advice if i dont have health insurance?

Dale’s wonderful (but wrong) suggestion is get artificial tears and blink a lot…Dale: how about if you stop giving advice about things you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about? Continue reading

Your eyes, the only pair you have…

I’ve been snooping around on a certain website and came across a thread called “Eye Health and Lampworking”. In it the thread starter states that she has been seeing “flashing lights” after finishing a lampworking session, and her eyecare professional has seen some minor changes in her eyes. Others commented on eye strain, halos of the torch image, etc.

Continue reading