Introduction: Ocular trauma at workplace is a worldwide cause of visual morbidity. It could be prevented by compliance to proper protective eyewear and increasing awareness. Preventive strategies can be best developed by analyzing the patterns and epidemiology of injuries. This study was designed to evaluate patterns and epidemiology of occupational eye injuries with a view to developing preventive strategies.
Material and Methods: In this observational cross-sectional study, 152 ocular trauma patients presenting to Accident and Emergency service of National Eye Hospital, Colombo, Sri Lanka were enrolled. Data was obtained via an interviewer administered questionnaire and was analyzed by SPSS version 17.
Results: Majority of the participants were aged 18-28years (50.7%). Males (96.1%) had the highest incidence of ocular injuries. Most of the patients were the sole breadwinner (84.2%) without life insurance (85.5%) or savings (62.5%) and are from low socioeconomic grounds (61.8%). The cornea (79.6%) was mostly affected; by superficial foreign bodies (62.5%) and by closed globe injury (99.3%).Greater number of ocular trauma was caused by physical means (75.7%) by sharp objects (67.8%). Majority of the participants 84.9% had not been using any eye protection at the time of injury. Protective eyewear was only provided at 44.7% of work places. Most of the patients attended the hospital 12-24 hours after (42.8%) ocular trauma. Out of the patients who presented to the hospital 77% were not given any first aid.
Conclusion: Our results are comparable with those found in the literature. Promoting use of effective eye protection equipment and revision of the laws on occupational safety are some of the recommendations proposed to prevent occupational eye injuries.