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June 1992

Eye Injury Resulting From ViolenceResearch and Prevention

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Mass

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(6):765-766. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080180037024

Since one caveman poked another in the eye, little has changed over the years except the efficiency with which eye injuries may be inflicted on one person by another. For children, the range, accuracy, and injury potential of the rubber-band-propelled paper clip were greatly extended by the BB gun. In war, the progression from thrown stones to arrows, rifles, land mines, bombs, and laser weapons has made eye injury easier to inflict on more people from greater distances. The vulnerability of the eyes to newer weapons is clearly evident from the increase in eye injuries as a percentage of all wartime casualties during the century between the American Civil War (0.57%) and the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War and the Vietnam War (5% to 10%).1

Civilian injuries due to violence are commonly thought to be due to purposeful, criminal assault. Assault such as this accounts for only approximately 20% of the

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