Many people believe the glare from snow causes snow blindness. Yet, dark glasses or not, they find themselves suffering from headaches and watering eyes, and even snow blindness, when exposed to several hours of "light snow".
The United States Army has now determined that glare from snow does not cause snow blindness in troops in a snow-covered country. Rather, a man's eyes frequently find nothing to focus on in a broad expanse of barren snow-covered terrain. So his gaze continually shifts and jumps back and forth over the entire landscape in search of something to look at. Finding nothing, hour after hour, the eyes never stop searching and the eyeballs become sore and the eye muscles ache. Nature offsets this irritation by producing more fluid which covers the eyeball. The fluid covers the eyeball in increasing quantity until vision blurs, then is absurd, and the result is total, even though temporary, snow blindness.
Experiments led the Army to a simple method of overcoming this problem. Scouts ahead of a main body of troops are trained to shake the snow from evergreen bushes, creating a dotted line as they cross completely snow-covered landscape, even the scouts themselves throw lightweight, dark colored objects ahead on which they too can focus. The men following can then see something. Their gaze is arrested. Their eyes focus on a bush and having found something to see, stop scouring the snow-blanketed landscape. By focusing their attention on one object at a time, the men can cross the snow without becoming hopelessly snow-blind or lost. In this way the problem of crossing a solid white terrain is overcome.