Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify the causes of ocular trauma, determine the groups at risk and types of injuries presenting to the Eye Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
Method: A prospective observational study was done over a 14-month period on trauma related referrals to the ophthalmology department. A questionnaire was administered and data were collected on the patient’s age, gender, affected eye, aetiology and location of trauma, visual acuity and intraocular pressure (IOP). Statistical analysis was performed using STATA.
Results: There were 84 eyes of 80 patients, of which 71.3% were males and 28.7% were females. The ages ranged from 3–64 (mean 31.2 ± 15.1) years. The highest incidence of trauma was seen in the 18–35-year age group (41.3%). Males had an odds ratio risk of 1.37. Blunt trauma occurred in 35.7% of cases and penetrating trauma in 33.3% of cases. The highest incidence of eye injury occurred at home (47.5%) followed by the workplace (25.0%), then road traffic setting (13.8%). Assault-related eye injury was seen in 17.5% of cases and 62.5% of all injuries were accidental. The rate of hospitalization was 40.5%, of which 85.3% were males while 14.7% were females. Previous trauma in the affected eye occurred in 14.3% of cases.
Conclusions: Males have a high odds risk ratio of ocular trauma. The majority of eye injuries occur in the home environment. Most injuries were accidental and could be avoided with the use of eye protection or care with interpersonal and work-related activities.