Paint ball eye injuries severe


Eye injuries sustained during paint ball games can be severe, but most can be prevented by wearing the proper protective gear, a new study suggests.

In a review of 36 patients seen at their eye institute for paint ball-related eye injuries, researchers found that the eye trauma was frequently severe - including eyeball ruptures in 28% of patients - and led to vision loss in many cases.

Paint ball is a 'war game' in which opponents try to splatter each other with small, paint-filled capsules shot out of guns powered by compressed gas. Research suggests that eye injuries from paint ball games have been on the increase in recent years, and games played outside of organised, commercial venues seem to carry the biggest risk.

Of patients in the current study, all were injured in informal settings and only two were wearing any kind of eye protection at the time of the injury, the researchers report in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Most injuries could be avoided through eye protection
"Eye injuries secondary to high-velocity paint balls can cause tremendous damage to vital ocular structures, often requiring extensive surgical intervention," lead researcher Dr Kyle J. Alliman, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said. "Unfortunately visual loss is often permanent."

Overall, 81% of the study patients required surgery, and half ended up with visual acuity worse than 20/200, the definition of legal blindness. "Awareness of the severe nature of paint ball-related eye injury is paramount", Alliman said, particularly for people who play in non-commercial settings.

"That no injuries occurred in the current study in an organised setting attests to the effective safety precautions of manufacturers and organised groups," he and his colleagues write, adding that it's a "tragedy that the vast majority of severe eye injuries sustained in paint ball might have been avoided through proper eye protection".

In this study alone, Alliman noted, protective gear might have prevented 97% of the injuries. – (Reuters Health, February 2009)

Read more:
Too much time on PC strains eyes

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2310 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 9929 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 7674 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 764 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.