Snow Blindness

Snow Blindness

Andrew’s Note:  The weather in my neck of the woods lately has reminded me of the dangers of Snow Blindness…yes I forgot my sunglasses for a drive I had to take recently so I had to grab my spares out of my Get Home Bag. 

Every prepper in snow country should know the symptoms and treatment for Snow Blindness…and even more importantly what steps to take for prevention.  The following information is from TC 21-3 Soldier’s Handbook for Individual Operations and Survival in Cold Weather Areas (Approved for Public Release).


Snow blindness is caused by ultraviolet and ultrablue rays of the sun being reflected from a snow-covered surface into the eyes. This condition can occur even in cloudy weather.  In fact, it is more likely to occur in hazy, cloudy weather than in sunny weather.

Figure 6-3. Snow blindness.

Figure 6-3. Snow blindness.


Prevention is easy; wear your issued sunglasses. If sunglasses are not available, make slitted glasses from cardboard, thin wood, tree bark, or similar material.


Common symptoms are as follows:

  • A scratchy, sandy feeling under your eyelids.
  • Redness and watering of the eyes.
  • A headache.


Adhere to the following for proper treatment:

  • Blindfold the patient using a dark cloth.
  • Reassure the patient.
  • Evacuate the patient to a medical treatment facility.
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