• Falls Top List of Causes for Eye Injuries in United States

    Feb. 09, 2016

    Thousands of Americans are treated in hospitals for serious eye injuries each year. But what are the main causes of these injuries, and can they be prevented?

    According to recent research from Johns Hopkins University, falling tops the list of major causes. While serious eye injuries like those caused by falls can be expensive to treat – at an average of $20,000 per injury, according to the study – the researchers say that these types of injuries are largely preventable. That means interventions could lower eye injury rates and overall health care costs.

    The researchers studied the records of 47,000 patients ages 0 to 80 treated for ocular trauma from 2002 to 2011 using a national health care database. The data showed that most of the 8,425 falls recorded happened to those 60 and older. Among the types of falls, slipping caused nearly 3,000 eye injuries. Falling down stairs was cited as a cause of eye injury 900 times.

    The researchers also discovered that nearly 8,000 hospitalizations for eye injuries were caused by fighting and various types of assault. “Unarmed fight or brawl” came in at No. 2 overall among specific causes of eye injuries requiring hospitalization, but was the top cause reported for ages 10 to 59.

    For information on ways to prevent falls for people with low vision or cataracts, read: