Ocular injuries associated with eyeglass wear and airbag inflation

J Trauma. 1995 Apr;38(4):494-7. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199504000-00005.


Objective: The purpose of this report is to detail three cases of serious ocular injury associated with eyeglass wear during airbag inflation following motor vehicle crashes.

Design: Although there were too few cases to provide valid statistics, an attempt was made to determine if there were characteristics common to the glasses or accidents that would provide preventive information.

Materials and methods: The emergency room records were reviewed for a 4-year period and cases were extracted involving ocular injuries related to airbag inflation. Fourteen cases were found, and three patients were wearing glasses. These cases were studied in detail.

Measurements and main results: All three patients sustained serious, vision-compromising ocular damage.

Conclusions: Eyeglass wear presents an additional risk factor for ocular injury during airbag inflation. Frame damage and lens shatter provide potential for both blunt and penetrating types of ocular injury.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Aged
  • Air Bags / adverse effects*
  • Eye Injuries / etiology*
  • Eyeglasses*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies