The mechanism and prevention of soccer eye injuries
- 1Tufts University School of Medicine, Medford, MA, USA
- 2University of Porto School of Medicine, S João Hospital, Porto, Portugal
- Correspondence to: Paul F Vinger MD, John Cuming Building, Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Concord, MA 01742, USA;
- Accepted 1 August 2003
Aims: To study the mechanism and the means of preventing soccer eye injuries.
Methods: Kicked soccer ball velocities were measured for a range of ages and experience. Soccer balls (sizes 3, 4, and 5), inflated to 3, 6, and 9 psi, were impacted onto an artificial orbit and the results analysed at 1000 frames per second. Protective eyewear was fitted to a headform then impacted and evaluated.
Results: The mean peak ball velocity was 20.4 (SD 6.2) m/s. Soccer balls at 18 m/s entered the orbit between 7.5 and 8.7 mm. There was no significant difference in orbital penetration as a result of ball size or pressure. The soccer ball stayed in the orbit approximately 10 ms and appeared to have a suction effect as it withdrew. Protective eyewear that complied with sports protective eyewear standard ASTM F803 prevented contact of the ball to the eye.
Conclusions: The soccer ball causes eye injury by entering the orbit. Protectors that pass ASTM F803 would prevent orbital intrusion.