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346 Eye injuries in sports: an update
  1. Thomas Henke,
  2. Gernot Jendrusch,
  3. Petra Platen
  1. Ruhr-University Bochum, Dep. of Sports Medicine, Bochum, Germany


Background About 3% of all eye injuries happen during sports activities. About 25% of these eye injuries are so severe that they need ophthalmic treatment.

Objective Epidemiology of eye injuries in sports, risk of eye injuries in different sports.

Participants 2.392 eye injuries were analysed based on 221.273 sports injuries (club sports) that have been recorded by the sports injury database of the Ruhr-University Bochum and ARAG Sports Insurance between 1987 and 2017. In order to calculate the sports discipline related risk of eye injuries the frequency of eye injuries in one sports discipline has been qualified with regard to the frequency of all sports injuries that have been recorded in this sports discipline.

Results The average age of the 2.392 eye injured – this equals 1.08% of all sports injuries – was 31.9 (age range: 1 - 95 years). 78% of the injured persons were male, whereas 22% were female. About 19.7% had to stay in hospital, 13.9% needed surgery and 56.9% were incapable to work. On average, the injured had to pause their sport for 24.8 days. Blunt traumata, e.g. contusions, are dominant with over 50%. These are often injuries caused by balls (e.g. in tennis or squash), rackets (e.g. in squash or ice hockey) or hand and elbow hits during tackles/tacklings (e.g. in handball or soccer). Assuming a mean risk of 1 for all sports, especially sports disciplines like squash (x8.4), badminton (x5.3), tennis (x4.8), but also water polo (x8.9) with swimming and grasping movements at eye level contain a significantly higher risk of eye injuries.

Conclusions Due to the special risk of eye injuries in squash the use of protective (sports) goggles is recommended from an ophthalmological point of view (already for a long time). For one-eyed athletes or sports persons with monocular defective vision protective sports goggles should be obligatory in order to protect the remaining healthy eye.

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