The condition typically occurs at high altitudes on highly reflective snow fields or, less often, with a solar eclipse. Artificial sources of UVB can also cause snowblindness. These sources include suntanning beds, a welder's arc (flash burn, welder's flash, or arc eye), carbon arcs, photographic flood lamps, lightning, electric sparks, and halogen desk lamps.
Symptoms include tearing, pain, redness, swollen eyelids, headache, a gritty feeling in the eyes, halos around lights, hazy vision, and temporary loss of vision. These symptoms may not appear until 6-12 hours after the UBV exposure.
Treatment consists mainly of keeping the eye closed with patches, after instilling a few drops of ophthalmic antibiotic solution, such as sulfacetamide sodium 10% with methylcellulose or gentamicin. Vision usually returns after 18 hours. The surface of the cornea usually regenerates in 24 to 48 hours.