Abstract from Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 1 3:23-30,2006
An estimated 60% of Americans wear prescription eyeglasses.
Despite the fact that eyeglasses pose a threat for injury, there is
little research presenting national statistics of eyeglasses-related
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was used to
analyze eyeglasses-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency
departments (EDs) in 2002-2003. Eyeglasses-related injury cases were
identified by the consumer product codes for eyeglasses and
sunglasses and each case's narrative description was reviewed to
identify the mechanism of injury. Cases (n = 642) were weighted to
produce national estimates of eyeglasses-related injuries. Mechanism
of injury, body region injured, injury diagnosis, and outcome of ED
visit were analyzed by gender and age.
An estimated 27,152 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 21,627-
32,677) eyeglasses-related injuries were treated in U.S. ERs in
2002-2003. Overall, males and females were equally likely to sustain
eyeglasses-related injuries (53.5Vo vs. 46.5%), but this
distribution varied by age group. A significantly higher percentage
of eyeglasses-related injuries due to falls occurred among persons
aged 65 years or more (89.50/0, 95% CI: 83.5-93.5), whereas
sports-related injuries were more common among persons aged 0-17
years (36.6010, 95% CI: 26.1-48.61. Eyeball injuries were
significantly more prominent among persons aged 18-64 years.
Overall, 3.8% (95% CI: 2.3-6.3) of eyeglasses-related injuries
resulted in hospital admission.
Eyeglasses-related injuries in the U.S. demonstrate age and
gender-specific characteristics. Safer eyeglasses design and the use
of protective eyewear during sports activities and other activities
with a high risk of ocular trauma will help prevent future
Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD, Coll. Med.
Public Health, The Ohio State
University, Center for Injury Res. &
Policy, Columbus Children's Res. Inst. &
Children's Hosp., 700 Children's Drive,
Columbus, OH 43205 USA.