Influence of alcohol consumption on incidence and severity of open-globe eye injuries in adults



To investigate the influence of alcohol consumption on the occurrence of open-globe injuries in adults.


A retrospective study was made of 100 consecutive patients (81 male, 19 female) with open-globe injuries. Of these patients, 18 exhibited alcohol intoxication (group Ai), and 82 exhibited no alcohol intoxication (group nAi). Investigated parameters were best-corrected visual acuity at day of admission and last examination (logMAR), type of injury according to BETT-classification, extraocular injuries, cause of injury, time and setting of injury, in relation to alcohol consumption and tested for statistical significance with Fisher’s exact test or the Mann–Whitney U test, respectively.


In group Ai, 83.3% of the patients were male, and in group nAi, 80.5%. Mean logMAR at day of admission was 1.06 ± 0.63 (20/250) in group Ai and 1.08 ± 0.59 (20/250) in group nAi. At last examination, mean logMAR in group Ai was 1.11 ± 0.59 (20/250), in group nAi 0.75 ± 0.60 (20/125). This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.02). In group Ai, significantly more ruptures according to BETT classification occurred (p = 0.05). In group Ai, significantly more additional extraocular injuries occurred compared to group nAi (38.9% versus 6.1%; p = 0.0009). In group Ai, the cause of injury was significantly more often glass (44.4% versus 2.4%; p = 0.0000), in group nAi the injury was more often directly or indirectly caused by tools (74.4% versus 33.3%; p = 0.001). In group Ai, the injury was significantly more often inflicted by others (50.0% versus 9.8%; p = 0.0003). The settings in which the injuries occurred were significantly more often the street in group Ai (44.4% versus 6.1%; p = 0.0002), in group nAi the garden or tool shed (31.7% versus 5.6%; p = 0.02) or the workplace (34.2 % versus 11.1 %; p = 0.04). In group Ai, the injuries occurred significantly more often at night (p = 0.0001) and on weekends (p = 0.0000).


Open-globe eye injuries under alcohol intoxication are more often caused by a third party and have a worse prognosis. Open-globe injuries under alcohol intoxication occur in a different spatio-temporal setting and exhibit a more severe type of injury. Risk behavior combined with alcohol consumption therefore seems to be an independent factor for the incidence of open-globe eye injuries.

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Correspondence to Florian Rüfer.

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Presentation at conference: WOC 2010

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Rüfer, F., Peters, A., Klettner, A. et al. Influence of alcohol consumption on incidence and severity of open-globe eye injuries in adults. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 249, 1765–1770 (2011).

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  • Open-globe injury
  • Trauma
  • Alcohol
  • Epidemiology