Gun-related eye injuries: A primer

Surv Ophthalmol. 2020 Jan-Feb;65(1):67-78. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2019.06.003. Epub 2019 Jun 20.


Gun-related eye injuries are relatively common in the context of gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Many of the fundamental principles of gunshot wound management apply to the care of these patients, but the complex anatomy and functional relationships of the periocular region do pose special challenges. We provide a focused primer for physicians seeking a more in-depth understanding of gun-related eye injuries and present 3 representative cases outlining the spectrum of pathology, provide a focused review of the relevant ballistics concepts, and discuss the management of injuries to the periocular soft tissues, orbital structures, and globe. We found that good cosmetic and functional results can often be achieved with appropriate early intervention, but visual prognosis may remain guarded despite optimal treatment.

Keywords: foreign body; globe; guns; gunshot wounds; orbit; periocular soft tissue injury; sclopetaria; trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Disease Management*
  • Eye Injuries / diagnosis
  • Eye Injuries / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Gunshot / surgery*
  • Young Adult