Risk factors for eye disease and injury: literature review

5.2 Eye injury

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      Papers published from 1997 to 2006 and included in this review show that the use of eye protection is associated with a marked decrease in eye injuries. Eye injury is a common hazard in certain jobs, especially for males aged between 20 and 34 years. Foreign bodies in the eye are the most common work-related injuries, followed by chemical injuries (Group 1).

      Sport is also a cause of many eye injuries, particularly in young men. The largest numbers of injuries are caused by the sports that are the most popular, rather than those that are the most dangerous, although particular caution is required when playing sports involving hard, small balls. Eye injury is less likely to occur in established sports, as these sports usually have compulsory and well-designed eye protection (Group 1).

      Another cause of injury is assault. The type of eye injury resulting from an assault depends on the method of assault, but blunt trauma is the most common. Most assaults, particularly chemical assaults, result in serious injury or blindness. Further studies would be required to evaluate the severity and incidence of eye trauma from assault in Australia (Group 1).

      Eye injury may also be associated with activities such as walking or running near roads, which may carry a small risk due to the potential for metallic foreign bodies to be projected from the road by passing cars (Group 2).

      No relevant studies were found in the search period for an association between eye injury and the home environment, alcohol or radiation (Group 7).
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