WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The incidence of eye injuries associated with nonpowder guns seems to be increasing among children, and the mean age of patients with foam projectile blaster-associated injuries is decreasing, according to a research letter published online May 11 in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Alexandre Dentel, M.D., from the Rothschild Foundation Hospital in Paris, and colleagues conducted a case series to estimate the annual incidence and severity of nonpowder gun-related injuries between January 2010 and June 2022.
The researchers identified 304 patients (77 percent self-reported as male) who consulted the eye emergency department after ocular trauma associated with a toy nonpowder gun between January 2010 and June 2022. The mean patient age was 16 years. Toys involved most frequently were foam projectiles for a nonpowder gun, a BB gun or airsoft gun, a paintball gun, and unspecified in 151, 110, 31, and 12 cases (50, 36, 10, and 4 percent, respectively). An increase in incidence was suggested between 2014 and 2022. During the same time period, there was a decrease seen in the mean patient age with foam projectile blaster-associated injuries from 16 to 10 years. Two open-globe injuries, 51 intraocular hemorrhages, three cataracts, 19 retinal injuries (including two retinal tears and one retinal detachment), 22 iris injuries, 12 cases of ocular hypertension, and 45 corneal lesions were seen in association with foam projectile blasters during the study period.
“Recommendations might prevent many of these unintentional injuries, such as consumer attention to age labeling and consideration of protective goggles, while manufacturers could promote use of safety glasses to protect children’s eyes,” the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and personal care industries.
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