Ocular paintball injuries

Arie Y. Nemet, Leena Asalee, Yaron Lang, Daniel Briscoe, Ehud I. Assia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: One of the most alarming ocular injury trends in recent years has been the proliferation of paintball guns and the proportional increase in the number of ocular eye injuries caused by paintballs. Objectives: To describe five cases of paintball eye injuries that resulted in loss of functional vision in four of them. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the clinical course in five patients with paintball eye injuries treated in the ophthalmology departments of two medical centers. Results: Five young males were evaluated for paintball injuries caused by blunt trauma. There was one case of full-thickness laceration (globe rupture). Four patients required one to five surgical interventions: three of these involved the removal of traumatic cataract including two eyes with significant zonular dehiscence treated by lens capsule conservation using anchoring devices, one retinal surgery and two glaucoma filtration surgeries. However, final visual outcome was not favorable due to irreversible retinal damage. Conclusions: Paintball trauma often results in significant ocular injury and loss of functional vision despite successful surgical intervention. Most injuries occur in under-supervised settings and are easily preventable. Improved safety measures, strict regulation enforcement and appropriate public education could prevent such serious damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • Ocular injury
  • Paintball
  • Paintball eye injury
  • Surgical repair


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