Alcohol consumption in men major cause of globe rupture cases

Irish study finds that majority of globe rupture cases involve men involved in assaults while under the influence of alcohol

Aidan Hanratty

Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018

The majority of globe rupture cases are caused by men under the influence of alcohol, according to an Irish study.

Dr Emily Hughes presented the study on globe ruptures at University Hospital Galway at the Irish College of Ophthalmologists Annual Conference in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Following anecdotal observations that many globe rupture cases involved men who had been involved in assaults while under the influence of alcohol, doctors at UHG decided to track all cases of globe repair.

There were 12 cases of globe repair over the two-year study period. Half of all patients studied were assaulted, by such means as punch, baseball bat and shotgun. Others were workplace and self-inflicted injuries. Visual outcomes were heterogenous, from 6/6 to 2/60, with one patient left aphakic, and two patients required subsequent cataract surgery.

The catchment area for Galway and Roscommon is 314,000, and if the area of Mayo is included that extends to 450,000. Dr Hughes reported numbers of injuries of one-to-two per 100,000 per annum.

Reflecting on these injuries Dr Hughes, concluded that the initial perception of these cases was largely correct. These incidents involved males under 40 with posterior segment injuries worse than anterior segment, largely in the working-age population, a quarter of whom had consumed alcohol. The question was whether these injuries were largely preventable.