Ocular injuries of sufficient severity to necessitate admission to the Eye and Ear Clinic, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, were sustained by 1707 male patients and 325 female patients. Blunt injury occurred in 1063 eyes (49.2%), perforating injury in 1037 (48%), and intraocular or intraorbital foreign bodies in 181 eyes (8.4%). More than three-quarters of the patients (77.4%) were less than 36 years of age and 84% of all injuries occurred in males. Normal visual acuity (6/6 or better) was regained by 41.2% of the patients in whom the final visual outcome was known. The benefit of wearing seat belts in road vehicles and protective goggles in industry and sport should receive more publicity on radio and television and via poster campaigns. Compulsory fitting of laminated windscreens in all road vehicles is recommended. The vulnerability of children to ocular injury should be highlighted through the mass media, schools, and health centres.
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