Recommending that patients use protective eyewear during sports can reduce their odds of eye injury, especially in high-risk activities such as basketball. Photo: Getty Images. Click image to enlarge.
Researchers recently examined trends in ophthalmic trauma secondary to five major sports (baseball, soccer, tennis, football, basketball) in an effort to identify differences between patient characteristics and injury timing (pre-COVID vs. COVID).
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was queried to extract cases related to the sports of interest from 2011 to 2020. Entries were analyzed by age, sex, diagnosis, location and disposition, with narrative descriptions assessed to characterize the mechanism of injury and visual sequelae. National incidence was extrapolated and the variables were tested for interdependence.
Among 98,995 presentations, most involved male (83.5%) and pediatric patients (59.2%). Contusion/abrasion (57.3%) was the predominant diagnosis, with injuries primarily precipitated by contact with a ball (44.9%) and occurring in the recreational setting (49.0%). Visual sequelae were documented in 6.4% of injuries. Patients were commonly treated/examined and released (95.6%). Between sports, significant differences in diagnosis, mechanism of injury, location, visual sequelae and disposition were observed. Stratification by age indicated significant differences in diagnosis, mechanism of injury and location. Stratification by sex indicated significant differences in the mechanism of injury and visual sequelae. Stratification by time period indicated significant differences in diagnosis and mechanism of injury.
“There are notable differences in sports-related ocular injuries by patient characteristic, revealing important considerations for their clinical evaluation and the development of safety guidelines,” the study authors wrote in their paper.
Patel PA, Patel PN, Ahmed H. Epidemiologic trends in ophthalmic trauma related to major sports: an NEISS study. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. January 29, 2023. [Epub ahead of print].