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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-69

Ocular trauma has fallen on our blind spot

Department of Ophthalmology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth University), Pillaiyarkuppam, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Kirti Nath Jha
Department of Ophthalmology, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pillaiyarkuppam, Puducherry - 607 402
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2320-3897.183656

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Trauma-related visual impairment is an unrecognized public health problem. Insufficient epidemiological data on eye injuries underlies the prevailing apathy. We conducted PubMed search for articles on prevalence/incidence, and epidemiology of eye injuries/ocular trauma in India published from year 2000 to 2014 and included for analysis the studies with sufficient statistical power. We also retrieved data from National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) and Census of India. Book chapters were also searched for relevant references. Available data throw light on the magnitude and dimensions of trauma-related visual impairment. Andhra Pradesh eye diseases study recorded history of eye injuries in 7.5% of a South Indian population, resulting in unilateral blindness in 0.6% of eye-injured. NSSO 1991 too has recorded high prevalence (35/1000 in rural areas, and 32/1000 in urban areas) of injury-related visual impairment. Results reveal the majority of injuries occur at work in an unorganized sector where Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) cover are almost nonexistent. Data on eye injuries at home, at sports, and combat-related injuries are incomplete. Due to their cataract-centric design, rapid assessment of avoidable blindness surveys fails to reveal injury-related visual impairment. To estimate injury-related visual impairment, we recommend the establishment of a National Ocular Trauma Registry. Comprehensive population-based surveys shall provide additional sources of data. Compliance with OSH measures, education of workforce, provision of eye protective device for hazardous occupations, mandatory reporting, and monitoring and audit of eye injuries should go hand-in-hand.

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