Airsoft guns can cause permanent ocular damage in children

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Airsoft guns can cause ocular damage that requires operative intervention.

Airsoft guns can cause ocular damage that requires operative intervention, claims a study in the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Dr Tarek A. Shazly et al., Department of Ophthalmology, Assiut University Hospital, Assiut, Egypt, conducted a retrospective chart review on 32 paediatric patients who suffered ocular injuries from using airsoft guns between November 2005 and December 2007. Place of trauma, presenting symptoms and signs, surgical interventions and final visual outcome were assessed in each patient.

Of the patients studied, 24 presented with hyphaema, 10 had corneal abrasions and 7 experienced raised intraocular pressure. Immediate surgical intervention was required in 7 patients and 7 patients underwent elective surgery.

In 5 patients final visual acuity was 20/200 or worse, 23 patients had 20/40 or better and 2 patients could not be assessed.

There is significant long-term morbidity from some of the ocular injuries examined in the study. It was concluded that airsoft guns can cause a variety of ocular disorders - both serious and permanent.