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P.J. Pahk, R.A. Adelman; Paintball Related Ocular Trauma . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):5035.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To study the ocular effects of paintball injury and to observe whether the results have been affected by the increased availability of paintball equipment. Methods: Retrospective study of patients with paintball injury at a tertiary referral center between 1998 to 2004. Results: Twelve patients were evaluated for paintball injury; 11 (92%) were male and 1 (8%) was female. Age ranged from 9 to 30. Of the 12, 83% (n=10) did not wear eye protection, 1 had just removed his eye protection, and 1 is unknown. Only 33% (n=4) of injuries occurred while playing paintball; 25% (n=3) occurred in bystanders and 42% (n=5) occurred in intentional or drive by shootings. Initial visual acuity (VA) ranged from 20/40 to light perception (LP). 33% (n=4) had final VA of 20/40 or better, 33% (n=4) between 20/50 and 20/200; 25% (n=3) worse than 20/200. One patient was transferred and lost to follow up. VA, except in one case, improved with treatment. Corneal or scleral laceration was noted in 25% (n=4), intraocular foreign body (IOFB) in 8% (n=1), hyphema in 75% (n=9), iris injury in 33% (n=4), lens injury 25% (n=3), vitreous hemorrhage in 50% (n=6), commotio in 42% (n=5), retinal tears or breaks in 42% (n=5), and retinal hemorrhage in 33% (n=4). Conclusions: Paintball related ocular injuries may result in severe ocular damage and loss of vision. Most injuries occur in unsupervised settings without proper eye protection. Surprisingly, 42% (n=5) of the patients were injured in intentional or drive by shootings. Lack of supervision and use of paintball materials as assault weapons make the risk for ocular injury more significant and less preventable. Primary prevention must be targetted at increasing public awareness of the risks of paintball injury.
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