The discharge rate for ocular trauma resulting in hospitalization and variations in rates between US census subdivisions were examined by using hospital discharge abstracts from the 1984 through 1987 National Hospital Discharge Surveys. The average annual rate of hospitalization with a principal diagnosis of ocular trauma was 13.2 per 100,000. The rate for any ocular trauma (principal or secondary diagnosis) was 29.1 per 100,000. Males were three times more likely to be hospitalized for a principal diagnosis of ocular trauma than females. Age-specific rates for principal and secondary diagnoses of ocular trauma were distributed bimodally, with the highest peak in adolescents and young adults, and another peak among those 75 years or older. This study has begun the first step in profiling ocular trauma resulting in hospitalization in the United States.