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K. Alliman, J. Banta, W. Smiddy, Y. Qureshi, D. Miller; Ocular Paintball Injuries and Visual Outcome. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):717.
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To describe ocular injuries attributable to paintball projectiles and subsequent medical/surgical intervention with resultant visual outcomes.
Retrospective chart review of 36 eyes of 36 patients who sustained ocular injuries secondary to paintballs who were evaluated and treated at a single institution. Age, gender, laterality, setting, eye protection, visual acuity at presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and final visual acuity were reviewed.
Of the 36 patients injured, 31 (86%) were male. 34 (97%) were wearing no eye-protection device when injured. Visual acuity in 28 eyes (77%) was 20/200 or worse at presentation. The most common ocular finding at presentation was hyphema in 28 eyes (81%). 20 eyes (56%) were initially managed medically, however, 29 (81%) eventually required surgical intervention with 8 (22%) requiring enucleation. Final visual acuity was 20/40 or better in 13 eyes (36%) whereas 18 eyes (50%) were 20/200 or worse.
Paintball-related ocular injuries are often severe and visually devastating. Ocular trauma secondary to paintball projectiles is not uncommon in an urban setting in which most injuries occur in uncontrolled, non-recreational settings. The vast majority of patients suffering paintball-related trauma are young males without eye protection. Following the blunt impact of a paintball, anterior segment injuries were found in well over ¾ of patients. Despite extensive surgical efforts, visual acuity at presentation strongly correlates with final visual acuity.
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