Preventing and Treating Snow Blindness With Duct Tape?
Duct tape has endless uses, one of which is the prevention of a particular type of blindness… snow blindness. It’s much like a sunburn of the eye. Usually not noticed until several hours afterword, it occurs from exposure to sunlight that’s been reflected off ice, snow, or less commonly sand and sea. Fresh snow reflects about 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Symptoms of Snow Blindness
Symptoms include increased tears and scratchy pain; it feels like having sand in your eyes. Snow blindness is particularly dangerous for preppers. Pain and tears will make you functionally blind and unable to navigate over land. But snow blindness can be prevented two ways: By wearing eye protection that blocks most of the ultraviolet radiation. Or by making and wearing slit goggles.
No Sunglasses in Your BOB?
Sunglasses with UV filters are not always available. Lacking this modern convenience, Inuit peoples were able to solve the problem by carving goggles with a thin horizontal slit. You can emulate this design by making a similar pair out of duct tape.
Treating Snow Blindness
Treat snow blindness by removing the person from sunlight, and covering their eyes with patches. Administer pain relief while the patient rests. Cool wet compresses can help, but dropping lidocaine or another anesthetic into your eyes inhibits healing. Just as it did with the corneal abrasions we discussed in an earlier post ( ). The pain, copious tearing, and visual disturbances typically resolve within 24–72 hours. Further injury can be avoided by making duct tape glasses and wearing them whenever in high exposure environments.
If you’d like to know more about preventing and treating snow blindness click the book image above.