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Prevalence and Causes of Occupational Eye Injuries in Gampola, a Rural Town in Sri Lanka

Authors:

S. C. De Silva ,

Base Hospital, Gampola, LK
About S. C.
Eye Unit
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M. A. M. Azam,

Base Hospital, Gampola, LK
About M. A. M.
Eye Unit
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P. P. K. Wickramarathne,

Base Hospital, Gampola, LK
About P. P. K.
Eye Unit
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M. H. U. M. Lansakara,

Base Hospital, Gampola, LK
About M. H. U. M.
Eye Unit
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R. I. K. Karunathillaka

Base Hospital, Gampola, LK
About R. I. K.
Eye Unit
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Abstract

Background: Occupational eye injuries cause significant ocular morbidity with possibly devastating social and economic consequences. However, the simple use of personal protective eyewear during exposure to hazards during work can reduce the injury burden.

 

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among 438 patients admitted to the eye ward at Base Hospital – Gampola, Sri Lanka, a secondary-level healthcare institution from September 2020 to November 2021. Data was collected using a participant-administered structured questionnaire.

 

Results: Our research shows that most occupational eye injuries occur among young working-age male rural workers who are the primary income earners of their families. Projectile injuries from foreign bodies constituted the main cause of occupational eye injuries (55.46%) with chemical injuries also being a significant cause (7.14%). Lack of usage of personal protective eyewear during occupational exposure (80.3%) is a significant risk factor. The average delay in presentation for medical treatment was 1.48 days (SD 2.69) with lack of significant symptoms being the major cause for delay (54.79%).

 

Conclusion and recommendation: Occupational eye injuries are a common cause of presentation to a specialized eye unit with a significant socioeconomic impact on the individual as well as the society. The majority of such injuries are preventable if suitable knowledge and practice regarding wearing personal protective eyewear are present. Therefore, improved awareness among the target community regarding basic preventive measures and improved access to healthcare facilities with a minimum delay to seek medical care will reduce the disability caused by such injuries.
How to Cite: De Silva, S.C., Azam, M.A.M., Wickramarathne, P.P.K., Lansakara, M.H.U.M. and Karunathillaka, R.I.K., 2022. Prevalence and Causes of Occupational Eye Injuries in Gampola, a Rural Town in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Medicine, 31(2), pp.59–65. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljm.v31i2.333
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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