Gun Shot Wounds

Approximately half of {the} patients presenting themselves at {the} emergency department suffer from ocular trauma. The spectrum of eye injuries could vary from very mild to extremely serious resulting in blindness. One of {the} major causes of eye injuries in children is toys. Most of {the} parents do not consider eye safety while buying toys for their kids. Although marketed as game-playing devices intended to simulate real combat situation, toy guns are one of {the} biggest causes of toy related ocular injuries.

Some of {the} common eye injuries are caused by BB guns, airsoft guns, shot gun pellets and paint gun balls. BB gun and airsoft gun can easily destroy {the} eye and cause permanent damage to {the} eye. The BB gun can penetrate through {the} cornea and cause extremely gruesome damage to {the} eye.

The most common injuries caused by airsoft guns are to {the} anterior side of {the} eye and include hyphema, corneal abrasion and corneal edema. Hyphema is defined as {the} accumulation of blood in {the} portion between {the} cornea and {the} colored iris. If not treated on time, it can lead to glaucoma in later life. Corneal abrasion and corneal edema are also seen in two-thirds of {the} cases with airsoft gunshot injury.

Shot guns propel pellets with enough energy that can actually penetrate {the} human eye. As BB gun and pellet guns fire velocities at a much higher speed, they have {the} ability to produce eye tissue damage similar to that caused by conventional firearm. Air gun pellets cause an intense force over a small area of scleral surface, which can cause rupture of {the} underlying choroid and retina. Further damage can lead to vitreous and sub-retinal hhemorrhage along with damage to photo receptors.

Injury by {the} paintball can completely destroy {the} eyeball. Paintballs cause blunt trauma to {the} eye which can be severe enough to cause blindness.

Consequences of eye injury-

Eye injury by gunshot bullets can cause different types of symptoms depending upon {the} type of toy used.

  • Iritis is defined as {the} inflammation of {the} colored part of iris and is caused by {the} blunt injury to {the} eye.
  • Sclopetaria is defined as a contusion lesion of {the} retina caused from a BB or shot pellet.
  • Traumatic cataract occurs seconding to penetrating trauma by {the} BB or air soft gun.
  • Hyphema occurs when there is puddle of blood in {the} anterior chamber of {the} eye between {the} eyes and cornea.
  • Globe rupture is a medical emergency characterized by full thickness injury to {the} cornea and sclera. It is caused by a penetrating object traveling at considerable velocity to perforate {the} globe directly.
  • Traumatic optic neuropathy- Direct injury to {the} eye can damage {the} optic nerve and cause blindness

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