The prevalence of vision loss due to ocular trauma in the Australian National Eye Health Survey

Stuart Keel, Jing Xie, Joshua Foreman, Hugh R. Taylor, Mohamed Dirani

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background To determine the prevalence of vision loss due to ocular trauma in Australia. Methods The National Eye Health Survey (NEHS) is a population-based cross-sectional study that examined 3098 non-Indigenous Australians (aged 50–98 years) and 1738 Indigenous Australians (aged 40–92 years) living in 30 randomly selected sites, stratified by remoteness. An eye was considered to have vision loss due to trauma if the best-corrected visual acuity was worse than 6/12 and the main cause was attributed to ocular trauma. This determination was made by two independent ophthalmologists and any disagreements were adjudicated by a third senior ophthalmologist. Results The sampling weight adjusted prevalence of vision loss due to ocular trauma in non-Indigenous Australians aged 50 years and older and Indigenous Australians aged 40 years and over was 0.24% (95% CI: 0.10, 0.52) and 0.79% (95% CI: 0.56, 1.13), respectively. Trauma was attributed as an underlying cause of bilateral vision loss in one Indigenous participant, with all other cases being monocular. Males displayed a higher prevalence of vision loss from ocular trauma than females in both the non-Indigenous (0.47% vs. 1.25%, p = 0.03) and Indigenous populations (0.12% vs. 0.38%, p = 0.02). After multivariate adjustments, residing in Very Remote geographical areas was associated with higher odds of vision loss from ocular trauma. Conclusions We estimate that 2.4 per 1000 non-Indigenous and 7.9 per 1000 Indigenous Australian adults have monocular vision loss due to a previous severe ocular trauma. Our findings indicate that males, Indigenous Australians and those residing in Very Remote communities may benefit from targeted health promotion to improve awareness of trauma prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2466-2469
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Ocular injury
  • Public health

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