Cost to Patients of Ophthalmic Trauma Treatments Has Doubled in Nearly 10 Years

Preventative eye emergency strategies and resources should target young men from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Given the significant individual and societal costs, public health efforts to prevent ophthalmic trauma are crucial, and preventative strategies should target young men from low socioeconomic backgrounds, say researchers who presented findings at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 annual meeting, held in Chicago from September 30 to October 3.

The researchers conducted a study to determine the incidence, characteristics and outcomes of emergency department (ED) visits for ophthalmic trauma in the US. To calculate and characterize ED visits for ophthalmic trauma in the US from 2009 to 2018, the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample was used.

The study found that, during the study period, with an annual incidence of 233 per 100,000 population, there were more than 7 million ED visits for ophthalmic trauma. 

Emergency patients were predominantly men (62%) between the ages of 21 and 44 years (39%), and from low-income households (30%). Only 1% were admitted to the ED, while over 97% were discharged. 

Over the decade, the mean inflation-adjusted charge per visit more than doubled ($1,333 to $3,187), with total charges exceeding $14 billion. Sixty-four percent of visits were comprised of superficial injuries and eyelid/orbit wounds. Orbital fractures and open globe injuries made up 6% of visits, but they accounted for 20% of total charges and 78% of admissions. 


Iftikhar M, Canner J, Shah S, Woreta FA. Ophthalmic trauma in the US: emergency department visits, 2009-2018. Poster presented at: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 annual meeting; September 30-October 3; Chicago.PO346