Retinal injury from a welding arc

Michael A. Naidoff, David H. Sliney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An 18-year-old man stared at a welding arc for approximately ten minutes, sustaining moderate facial erythema, keratoconjunctivitis, marked visual loss, a pupillary abnormality, and a retinal injury accompanied by a dense central scotoma and peripheral field constriction. A residual, partially pigmented foveal lesion remained after 16 months, with normal visual acuity. Since the degree of keratoconjunctivitis and facial erythema was known, we substantiated the duration of exposure to the arc by weighting the known action spectrum of moderate ultraviolet erythema with the ultraviolet spectral irradiance measurements of the arc. From the radiometric measurements of the visible brightness and visible and near infrared spectrum of the arc and from knowledge of pupil size, we calculated the retinal exposure dose rate, which was less than normally considered necessary to produce a chorioretinal burn. This case may provide a clinical example of photic maculopathy recently reported in experimental investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-668
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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