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Look out! Eyeglass injuries may lead to hospital visit

COLUMBUS , Ohio Injuries related to wearing glasses sent an estimated 27,000 people to the emergency department in 2002 and 2003, a new study suggests.

But the researchers say that such injuries could be avoided if people would wear protective eyewear during activities that put them at high risk of eye injury.

The researchers estimated that, in 2002 and 2003, some 27,000 people went to the emergency department seeking treatment for injuries related to wearing glasses. More than 1,000 of these cases were admitted to the hospital for further treatment.

"We also found that injuries related to wearing glasses vary by age and gender," said Huiyun Xiang, a study co-author and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University.

For example, people 65 and older were much more likely than younger adults to fall and hit their head, thus causing a glasses-related injury. Sports-related eyeglass injuries were more common in children 17 and younger.

The researchers also found that injuries to the eyeball were much more prominent among people age 18 to 64, compared to children and older adults.

Xiang and his colleagues report their findings in a recent issue of the journal Ophthalmic Epidemiology. Xiang conducted the study with lead author Sara Sinclair, a research associate at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Hospital, and Gary Smith, the Center's director.

The researchers defined glasses-related injuries as a traumatic event in which the glasses were directly involved in the injury and resulted in a visit to the emergency department. Cases in which a foreign body entered the eye while the person was wearing glasses were also included.

"Injuries related to eyeglasses represent a significant public health problem in all age groups, but eye injuries among working-age adults are one of the leading causes of blindness," said Xiang, who is also an investigator with the
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Contact: Huiyun Xiang
XiangH@pediatrics.ohio-state.edu
614-355-2768
Ohio State University
24-Apr-2006


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