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October 1986

Eye TraumaThe Neglected Disorder

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(10):1452-1453. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050220046022

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Eye trauma is a leading cause of significant visual impairment involving hundreds of thousands of Americans. Yet it has not received the attention it merits.

See also pp 1435 and 1473.

  • • Over 2.4 million eye injuries occur each year.1

  • • Eye injury is second only to cataracts as the most common cause of visual impairment.1

  • • Forty thousand patients annually are left with a significant visual impairment1 after eye trauma.

  • • An estimated 938 000 individuals in the United States have injury-induced visual impairment, with over 75% of these being monocularly blind.1

  • • One of every 20 patients seen by an ophthalmologist is there because of an eye injury.1

  • • Injury is second only to cataract and strabismus as the leading cause for hospitalization. With the increasing use of outpatient surgery, injury will be even more important as an indication for hospitalization in the future.1

Given the scope of

National Society to Prevent Blindness: Fact Sheet . New York, National Society to Prevent Blindness, 1980.
National Eye Institute Data for Fiscal Year 1982 . Bethesda, Md, National Eye Institute, 1982.
Vinger P, Easterbrook M, Hirschfelder D:  Sports eye injuries: A model for prevention . JAMA 1983;250:3322.Article
Vinger PF:  Sport eye injuries: A preventable disease . Ophthalmology 1981;88:108-113.Article
Committee on Trauma Research, National Research Council: Injury in America: A Continuing Public Health Problem . Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 1985.
Karlson TA, Klein BEK:  The incidence of acute hospitaltreated eye injuries . Arch Ophthalmol 1986;104:1473-1476.Article