MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Eye trauma is a significant cause of morbidity throughout the world. In the United States, the incidence of individuals hospitalized with eye trauma from 2001 through 2014 increased. Most of these individuals were above the age of 65 and suffered a fall. This is a worrisome trend in light of an increased awareness and continued and concentrated effort to reduce falls. This is a critical point: We need to improve our existing strategies to reduce falls.
The second at-risk group is children and adolescents. Previous studies have shown that effective widespread implementation of injury prevention efforts can lower trauma rates. While we did observe a small decrease in eye trauma as a primary admitting diagnosis, the fact that it was more common in children and adolescents (for whom eye trauma carries devastating consequences and can significantly reduce quality of life) highlights the significance of continued efforts to prevent eye trauma.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The most important thing that readers must keep in mind is that eye trauma continues to be a significant public health problem and is likely to increase, especially as our country’s population ages. Each of us, whether we are clinicians, public health advocates, or policy-makers, can play a part to make sure we can mitigate the burden of this problem.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: As an ophthalmologist, I would find it particularly interesting if future studies evaluate the causal relationship between visual disability and eye trauma. Is there a relationship between poor vision and falls resulting in eye trauma? We know that the incidence of eye trauma hospitalizations has increased, but we are still unclear about their ophthalmic outcomes such as vision. Each group has specific tangible risk factors which need to be researched so that they can be addressed in an effective manner.
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Iftikhar M, Latif A, Farid UZ, Usmani B, Canner JK, Shah SMA. Changes in the Incidence of Eye Trauma Hospitalizations in the United States From 2001 Through 2014. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online October 04, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.4685
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