Daily Health Headlines

Paintball Causes Many Vision-Robbing Eye Injuries

👤by Randy Dotinga 0 comments 🕔Friday, November 4th, 2016

THURSDAY, Nov. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Paintball guns pose the greatest risk of vision loss among the sports most commonly associated with eye injuries, a new study finds.

Basketball, cycling and baseball injuries to the eye occur more often than paintball-related eye accidents. But the popular air guns are far more likely to impair sight when an eye injury occurs, at least in the short term, researchers say.

The findings emphasize the importance of eye protection, said Dr. Matthew Gardiner, director of emergency ophthalmology services at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston.

"It's important to be aware of the threat to vision in these activities and wear safety glasses," said Gardiner, who wasn't involved in the study. "Simple preventive measures can solve almost all these problems."

The new report is the most extensive analysis of its kind, said lead author Dr. R. Sterling Haring, a research fellow at the Center for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality at the University of Lugano in Switzerland.

"It gives us a better picture of what reality is in terms of these injuries and tells us where we need to act to prevent them," Haring said.

Haring and his colleagues analyzed a U.S. database on emergency room visits at more than 900 hospitals in the United States from 2010 through 2013. The researchers focused on nearly 86,000 reports of sports-related eye injuries.

Males accounted for 81 percent of the injuries overall, and the average age was 22. "Young males are playing more of these team sports where they're at risk," Haring said.

About half of the injuries occurred during four activities: basketball (23 percent), baseball and softball (14 percent) and air guns (12 percent). These were also, in this order, the top four causes of injuries in males. The top three causes of injuries in females were baseball/softball, cycling and soccer.

Despite accounting for a smaller percentage of emergency department visits, paintball and air-gun eye injuries led to 26 percent of cases involving vision loss, the researchers said. Long-term follow-up wasn't available, however, so it's not known if damage was permanent, the study authors noted.

Gardiner explained big objects like balls can fracture the bones around the eyes, while small projectiles, such as pellets, can injure or even rupture the eye itself.

The paintballs are especially dangerous because they're so small, Gardiner said.

Professional paintball organizers usually require players to wear eye protection. So what could explain these injuries?

Haring said, "I think this reflects that weekend warriors are going out and doing these things on their own with friends, and they're not using or not correctly using protective equipment. But we don't know for sure." Haring is also a graduate student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

About 20 percent of the baseball-related injuries were "blow-out fractures," Haring said. These injuries occur when the bone around the eye is fractured, such as when the eye is struck by a baseball. "It's a big threat to your vision and a very serious injury," he said.

How can athletes protect themselves?

Gardiner said they should wear protective eyewear, such as safety glasses or goggles that have a tight seal. Sunglasses aren't enough, he noted, citing a person who was injured playing paintball. One paintball knocked off the patient's sunglasses and then another went directly into the eye, he explained.

Haring suggested that leagues "find a workable solution to introduce protective eyewear into sports like baseball and basketball, one that will work for everybody and still allow athletes to enjoy the game."

The study was published online Nov. 3 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Article Credits / Source

Randy Dotinga / HealthDay

Randy Dotinga wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: R. Sterling Haring, D.O., M.P.H., research fellow, Center for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality, University of Lugano, Switzerland, and graduate student, department of health policy and management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Matthew Gardiner, M.D., director, emergency ophthalmology services, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Boston; Nov. 3, 2016, JAMA Ophthalmology, online

View More Articles From Randy Dotinga 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Eyesight Articles

Doctors Use iPads to Treat 'Lazy Eye,' With Mixed Results

Doctors Use iPads to Treat 'Lazy Eye,' With Mixed Results0

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Does playing video games on an iPad work better than standard eye-patching for improving vision in children with lazy eye? Two new studies in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology reach seemingly ...

Some Primates Have Vision Troubles as They Age

Some Primates Have Vision Troubles as They Age0

TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Just like humans, some primates start having difficulty seeing things up close as they age. Researchers reviewed photos of 14 wild bonobos as they groomed each other. The primates were between 11 and 45 ...

Health Tip: Are Your Screens Causing Eye Strain?

Health Tip: Are Your Screens Causing Eye Strain?0

(HealthDay News) -- Staring at your TV, computer, smart phone or tablet can cause a problem known as computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. The American Optometric Association says to watch for these warning signs: Feeling that ...

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes0

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a Mediterranean diet and consuming caffeine may lower your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, according to a new study. Previous ...

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Corneal Abrasion

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Corneal Abrasion0

(HealthDay News) -- Doctors call a scratch on your eye a "corneal abrasion." It's important to see your doctor if you have any of these possible warning signs, provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians: Pain in your eye. A ...

View More Eyesight Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!