Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Eye injuries in an Italian urban population: report of 10620 cases admitted to an eye emergency department in Torino

  • 214 Accesses

  • 22 Citations



Ocular trauma has significant impact on the patient’s future quality of life. Most of the hospital-based studies tend to underestimate the occurrence of minor ocular trauma. In Torino the large majority of patients with ocular trauma are referred to a single hospital with a 24-hour Emergency Department (Ospedale Oftalmico). This offers the unique opportunity to analyze minor and major traumatic injuries in an industrial Italian city.


A retrospective analysis of all patients referred to the Eye Emergency Department, during a 1-year period (January 1 2006 to December 31 2006), was carried out. Records included demographic data, details of the eye injury, and diagnosis according to the classification of ocular trauma. The 1-year incidence of eye trauma was calculated on the Torino population obtained from the Central Anagraphic Office.


A total of 73,933 patients examined by the ophthalmologists working at the Ophthalmic Emergency Department 10,620 had eye injuries related to trauma (1.26%). The overall one year incidence of ocular trauma was 1.13%, and most of the casualties occurred in the 24–45 years age range. 111 patients were hospitalized for severe trauma (incidence 0.012%). Most of the injuries occurred at work (57.12%) or at home (35.15%) and were conjunctival or corneal abrasions or corneal foreign bodies (work: 54.21%, home: 32.79%). Although minor, these injuries determined a significant loss of working days (15,674). Most of the school injuries occurred before 15 years of age. At work, a higher incidence of conjunctival/corneal abrasions and foreign bodies occurred in the 25–45 years range, whereas open-globe injuries had a similar incidence in the 15–24 and 25–44 age groups (0.16% and 0.20%), suggesting that younger workers are more susceptible to severe trauma.


Although most of the injuries seen in an Emergency Department in Italy were minor, they were associated with a significant morbidity. In Torino, most of the traumatic eye injuries occurred at work or at home. Preventive and informative measures are warranted to reduce the incidence and prevalence of eye casualties.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Dannenberg AL Parver LM, Brechner RJ, Khoo L (1992) Penetrating eye injuries in the workplace the national Eye Trauma System Registry. Arch Ophthalmol 110:843–848

  2. 2.

    Linggett PE, Pince KJ, Barlow W et al (1990) Ocular trauma in a urban population review of 1132 cases. Ophthalmology 97:581–584

  3. 3.

    Mela EK, Dvorak GJ, Mantzouranis GA, Giakoumis AP, Blatsios G, Andrikopoulos GK, Gartaganis SP (2005) Ocular trauma in a Greek population: review of 899 cases resulting in hospitalization. Ophthalmic Epidemiol Jun 12(3):185–190

  4. 4.

    Karlson TA, Klein BEK (1986) The incidence of acute hospital-treated eye injuries. Arch Ophthalmol 104:1473–1476

  5. 5.

    Katz J, Tielsch JM (1993) Lifetime prevalence of ocular injuries from the Baltimora Eye Survey. Arch Ophthalmol 111:1564–1568

  6. 6.

    Kuhn F, Mester V, Witherspoon CD (1988) Epidemiology and socioeconomic impact of eye injuries. In: Alfaro V, Lingett P (eds) Vitrectomy in the management of the injured globe. Lippincott-Raven Philadelphia, pp 17–24

  7. 7.

    Kuhn F, Morris R, Witherspoon CD, Heimann K, Jeffers J, Treister G (1996) A standardized classification of ocular trauma terminology. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Opthalmol 234:399–403

  8. 8.

    Schein OD, Hibberd PL, Schingleton BK (1988) The spectrum and burden of ocular injury. Ophthalmology 95:300–305

  9. 9.

    Wong TY, Thielsch JM (1998) Epidemiology of ocular trauma. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA (eds) Duane’s Clinical Ophthalmology, revised ed. Lippincott Philadelphia, pp 1–13

  10. 10.

    Wong TY, Klein BEK, Klein R (2000) The prevalence and 5-year incidence of ocular trauma. Ophthalmol 107:2196–2202

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Antonio Fea.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fea, A., Bosone, A., Rolle, T. et al. Eye injuries in an Italian urban population: report of 10620 cases admitted to an eye emergency department in Torino. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 246, 175–179 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00417-007-0738-7

Download citation


  • Ocular trauma
  • Closed-globe injuries
  • Open-globe injuries
  • Epidemiology