Ocular trauma in a rural population of southern India: the Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study

Ophthalmology. 2006 Jul;113(7):1159-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2006.02.020.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of ocular trauma and proportion of blindness and visual impairment due to ocular trauma in a rural population of southern India.

Design: Population-based cross-sectional epidemiological study.

Participants: A total of 7771 subjects of all ages, representative of the rural population of Andhra Pradesh.

Methods: The subjects underwent a detailed interview and comprehensive ocular evaluation as part of the population-based Andhra Pradesh Eye Disease Study.

Main outcome: An eye was considered to be blind due to trauma if best-corrected distance visual acuity was worse than 6/60 and the cause was attributed to ocular trauma.

Results: A total of 824 (10.6%) subjects gave a history of ocular trauma in either eye, including 76 (1.0%) persons reporting trauma in both eyes. The overall age- and gender-adjusted prevalence of history of eye injury in this rural population was 7.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.0%-8.1%). Men were more likely to have an eye injury than women (odds ratio [OR], 2.1 [95% CI, 1.8-2.5]). After adjusting for gender and other demographic factors, ocular trauma was significantly more frequent among laborers (OR, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.2-1.7]) when compared with other occupational groups. After adjusting for gender, injury with vegetable matter such as a thorn, branch of a tree, plant secretion, etc. (n = 373 [45.3%]) was the major cause of trauma reported in this population. The majority of the eye injuries occurred at the workplace (n = 461 [55.9%]), followed by home (n = 179 [21.7%]). The majority of those affected (n = 806 [97.8%]) did not wear any eye protection at the time of trauma. A significant proportion (n = 307 [43.1%]) of subjects who sought treatment for an eye injury went to an ophthalmologist. Trauma was responsible for unilateral blindness in 39 subjects, an age- and gender-adjusted prevalence of 0.6% (95% CI, 0.4%-0.8%).

Conclusions: Most ocular injuries in this rural population occurred at the workplace, suggesting the need to explore workplace strategies to minimize ocular trauma as a priority. Eye care programs targeting high-risk ocular trauma groups may need to consider ocular trauma as a priority in eye health awareness strategies to reduce blindness due to trauma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blindness / epidemiology
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye Injuries / complications
  • Eye Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vision, Low / epidemiology
  • Vision, Low / etiology
  • Visually Impaired Persons / statistics & numerical data