....I did experience arc-eye many years back, on a few occasions, and it's not a pleasant thing at all. I use a flip mask for all my TIG welding, and occasionally get flashed due to carelessness, but not enough to cause anything other than a few moments of readjusting to regular light conditions. What I'm saying is don't get paranoid about the issue, arc-eye takes more that a split second of exposure, but continuous flashes would certainly cause it. I did once get arc-eye from welding in a small, white walled room, caused by too much arc light being bounced around the place - lost a whole nights sleep from that one I recall. In this part of the world I often see welders wearing just sunglasses, or not even these and simply closing their eyes when they spark up......health & safety not something they're famous for