Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/First aid/Snow blindness

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Exposure to reflected sunlight from snow, ice, or water, even on grey overcast days, can result in sunburn of the tissues comprising the surface of the eye, as well as the retina, producing snow blindness. Symptoms

Symptoms may not be apparent until up to 12 hours after exposure. The eyes initially feel irritated and dry; then, as time passes, eyes feel as though they are full of sand. Blinking and moving the eyes may be extremely painful. The eyelids are usually red, swollen, and difficult to open.

Remedial Action

A mild case will heal spontaneously in a few days, but you can obtain some relief by applying cold compresses and a lightproof bandage. An ophthalmic ointment can be applied hourly to relieve pain and lessen the inflammatory reaction.

WARNING
Do not rub your eyes.