The next morning, Trey Hanover woke up and couldn't see. His eyes were swollen shut. His doctor heard the story and came up with a diagnosis, according to the Chronicle:
[T]he shotgun load that vaporized the rattlesnake's head splattered the snake's venom over its body.
When Hanover handled the snake, he got the venom on his hands and later rubbed it in his eyes, made itchy by dust and ragweed. Sixteen days later, the vision in his right eye was back to normal. His left eye was still a little cloudy, but the doctor thought it would return to normal as well.