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Ocular sports injuries: the current picture
  1. A Barr1,
  2. P S Baines1,
  3. P Desai2,
  4. C J MacEwen1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, UK
  2. 2Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr A Barr, Queen Margaret Hospital, Whitefield Road, Dunfermline KY12 0SU, Scotland, UK barr.mclellan{at}virginnet.co.uk

Abstract

Objectives—To determine the recent incidence of eye injury due to sport in Scotland, identify any trend, and establish which sports are responsible for most injury? The type of injury and final visual outcome is also evaluated.

Methods—A prospective observational study of ocular injuries sustained during sport was performed over a one year period. Only patients requiring hospital admission were included. Data were collected on a standardised proforma and entered into a central database. Patients were followed up for at least three months.

Results—Of 416 patients admitted because of ocular injury, 52 (12.5%) resulted from playing a sport. Although all racquet sports together accounted for 47.5% of these injuries, football was the single most common sport associated with ocular trauma, being responsible for 32.5% of cases. The most common clinical finding was macroscopic hyphaema occurring in 87.5% of patients. Overall the final visual acuity was 6/6 in 92.5% of patients.

Conclusions—The incidence of eye injury due to sport at 12.5% is lower than previously reported, suggesting a change in the pattern of ocular trauma. Football is the single most common cause of ocular injury from sport in Scotland, but the wearing of protective headgear would be difficult to instigate. The incidence of hyphaema in sport related ocular trauma (87.5%) is almost double that of all ocular injury (47.8%), so the potential for serious visual loss as the result of a sports injury should not be underrated. Ophthalmologists have a role in protecting this young population at risk by actively encouraging the design and use of protective eyewear.

  • eye injury
  • ocular trauma
  • hyphaema
  • protective eyewear
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