Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1984  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 269--271

A profile of penetrating eye injuries

AK Mukherjee, JS Saini, SM Dabral 
 Department of Ophthalmology, Goa Medical College, Panaji, India

Correspondence Address:
J S Saini
Department of Ophthalmology, Goa Medical College, Panaji-403 001

How to cite this article:
Mukherjee A K, Saini J S, Dabral S M. A profile of penetrating eye injuries.Indian J Ophthalmol 1984;32:269-271

How to cite this URL:
Mukherjee A K, Saini J S, Dabral S M. A profile of penetrating eye injuries. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1984 [cited 2022 Jul 1 ];32:269-271
Available from:

Full Text

Traumatic injuries of eyes are increasingly becoming a common cause of permanent and yet avoidable cause ofblindness. [1],[2],[3] Penetrat­ing ocular injuries in particular carry in high risk of visual morbidity in all age groups[4],[5],[6]. Eye injuries are thus causing concern to Ophthalmologist both in the developed and developing countries.[7],[8],[9]

In this communication we bring attention to the profile of penetrating injuries of eye as seen in a fast developing coastal part of India.


82 patients varying in age group from 5 yrs to 62 years were hospitalized with penetrating ocular injuries at Goa Medical College and formed the subjects of this study. Majority of these were males (60 cases, 73.17%). 37 patients (44.91%) were less than 30 years of age [Figure 1]. All patients had uniocular injury and the involvement of ocular structures is listed in [Table 1][Table 2]. Site of perforation was corneal in 51 cases (62.21%), Corneoscleral in 24 cases (29.26%) and scleral in 7 cases (8.53%). Con­comitant injuries were seen as:-lid injury in 26 cases (31.80%), lacrimal Apparatus injuries in 8 cases (9.86%), Conjunctival tears in 38 cases (46.34%), Iris injuries in 30 eyes (36.5%), Ciliary body 20 cases (24.40%), lens in 46 cases (56.10%). 32 eyes (39.02%) showed hyphema following injury. Posterior segment damage in the form of macular oedema, macular degeneration and retinal damage was seen in 28 cases (34.14%).

The source of ocular injury is shown in [Figure 2]. The occupation of these patients is shown in [Figure 3].

Associated injuries to other parts of the body were present in 22 cases (26.83%) as lis­ted in [Table 3].


Many reports on ocular trauma in Ophthalmology literature are available par­ticularly concerning penetrating injuries.[3],[7] injuries in children,[4] or adults and injuries characteristic of a particular environment.[9] Most of these reports are published from the developed industrial nations. Since many eye injuries are related to particular occupations and cultures, the type of injuries in developing countries are not necessarily similar.

Analysis of 82 patients hospitalised for penetrating eye injuries shows that males are more often afflicted at all age groups. This is in conformity with many other reports. 44.9% of our patients were under 20 yrs of age emphasising the vulnerability of younger age as has also been reported by other authors.[8]

In these cases injuries mainly penetrated the exposed cornea. Indirect injuries resulting in scleral perforations were uncommon. Con­comitant injuries in the eye were lacerations of lid (26 cases), lacrimal canalicular injuries (8 cases), conjunctival tears (38 cases), Iris tears (30 cases), ciliary body injury (20 cases), lens injury (46 cases), posterior segment damage (28 cases) and hyphaema (32 cases). Primary endophthalmitis was seen in 11 cases due to infection and long delay in seeking medical care. As many as (26 cases) (34.6%) had more than 1/2 diameter of corneal rupture indicating the severity of injury in many of our cases.

Metallic injuries (33%) were commonest reflecting the high incidence of industrial accidents in this rapidly developing coastal belt. Wooden particles caused eye injury in 23.18% of cases to those mainly involved in forest/Agricultural activity. In 12.10% of cases glass caused injury following road accidents, bursting of carborated bottles and alcoholic drinks bottles. Due to mining activity quite a few (14.71%) injuries were due to stones. 17.01 of injuries resulted from various other reasons like blasts, car battery explosion, ropes, fish hooks, sea shells and animal horn.

Eye trauma occurs fairly frequently in developing countries and constitutes a major health problem. Efforts to prevent ocular injuries should particularly be directed towards improving established domestic habits such as chopping and gathering wood, enforcing industrial safeguards for running machinery and making safe products like car­borated bottles and car batteries. The necessity of seeking professional medical help soon after the injury and the danger of delaying treatment should be stressed.


A profile of eye injuries around Panaji (Goa) is presented.


1Maltzman B.A., Pruzen and Mund M.L,1976. Surv Ophthalmol. 21: 285
2Niiranen M., 1978. Acta Ophthalmol (Khb), 135 (Suppl); 1
3Warmer S., 1952. Acta Ophthalmol (Khb), 38: 97
4Glees M. and Kleinhaus XI., 1962. Klin Monast fur Augengeil 141: 287
5Niiranen M. and Raivis 1.,1981. Brit J. Ophthalmol, 65: 436
6Eagling E.M., 1976. Brit. J. Ophthalmol 60: 732
7Ibsar M.. Chirambe M. and Belkin M.. 1982. Brit J. Ophthalmol 66: 145.
8Venkataswamy G.. 1968. National Symposium on Injuries of the Eye, Ahmedabad, p 38
9Nair S.K and Chundawat M.S., 1978. East Arch. Ophthalmol 6: 80.