TREAT SNOW BLINDNESS
a. Wear Sunglasses. Snow blindness should be treated as soon as the signs
or symptoms are noted. If the casualty has not developed a severe case of snow
blindness, have him put on sunglasses. If sunglasses are not available, make an
improvised pair of sunglasses from a thin piece of wood or cardboard (figure 5-2). The
piece of wood or cardboard should be as long as the person's face is wide. Cut narrow
slits for the eyes and attach strings to the ends so that the improvised sunglasses can
be tied on. The casualty should then be able to perform his assigned duties.
Figure 5-2. Improvised sunglasses.
b. Cover Eyes. If sunglasses do not help or if the casualty is not needed to
perform a mission, cover the casualty's eyes with a dark cloth. The cloth will prevent
light from reaching the eyes. It will also help to keep the casualty from moving his eyes,
which could result in additional pain. A muslin bandage may be folded into a cravat and
used to keep the cloth in place or the cravat may be used as a blindfold if another dark
cloth is not immediately available. Do not put ointment in the eye.
c. Reassure the Casualty. Pain and decreased vision can be very frightening
to a casualty. Reassure the casualty that the pain and loss of sight is temporary and
that he will recover fully.
d. Record Treatment. Record the casualty's signs and symptoms and the
treatment administered on a DD Form 1380, U.S. Field Medical Card. Attach the Field
Medical Card to the casualty's clothing if he is evacuated. If the casualty is not
evacuated, forward the Field Medical Card through the appropriate channels.
e. Evacuate the Casualty, If Needed. If the snow blindness is severe,
evacuate the casualty to a medical treatment facility.