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October 1986

The Incidence of Acute Hospital-Treated Eye Injuries

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Health Systems Research and Analysis (Dr Karlson), and the Department of Ophthalmology (Dr Klein), University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(10):1473-1476. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050220067028

• Little information is available on the incidence and severity of eye injuries despite the disfigurement and vision loss they cause. From a population-based study in Dane County, Wisconsin, the incidence of acute hospital-treated eye injuries was 423/100 000 residents in 1979. The most common causes of eye injuries were assaults, work-related events, sports and recreational activities, motor vehicle crashes, and falls. Consumer products were involved in almost 70% (9/13) of severe eye injuries classified as severe. Injuries from fireworks were not found at all in this population. Implementing known strategies for eye injury prevention would substantially reduce their incidence. These include requiring certified eye protectors at workplaces and in sports activities whenever possible rather than making their use voluntary. For the preponderance of eye injuries, however, modifying potentially hazardous consumer products, including the interior of passenger cars, will be necessary.

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