A study by The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital has revealed which sports are most dangerous when sustaining eye trauma injuries in people under 18 years of age.

This Australian-first study found that soccer, AFL and basketball all rank as the most dangerous sports related to emergency eye trauma cases. Over 30 per cent of the sample were paediatric patients suggesting targeted interventions for higher risk sports at school may help to reduce injury and create safer sporting practices.

Led by Professor Carmel Crock OAM, Dr Rahul Chakrabarti and Gizem Ashraf, the study Sports-related Eye Trauma Study (SETS): Five-year audit of sports-related eye injuries at a tertiary eye hospital in Australia, analysed over 1,700 Eye and Ear Emergency presentations between 2015 and 2020.

As the largest tertiary eye care hospital in Australia, the Eye and Ear sees over 40,000 presentations to the Emergency Department (ED) in a typical year, with many of these cases appearing due to sports related eye trauma. From the over 1,700 Eye and Ear Emergency presentations, 54 per cent of these eye injuries were attributed to ball sports. Soccer and AFL are currently only considered ‘moderate risk’ for eye trauma, and yet ranked as the top two highest risk in this research.

“To date, our study is the most comprehensive in Australia in this field, and we hope the findings help to update guidelines and promote policy changes, particularly for young people. We saw the most presentations from patients aged 10-20 years old. Prevention is the key,” explained Dr Chakrabarti.

Late last month, Dr Rahul Chakrabarti and a recent patient Yianni were interviewed by Channel Nine News reporter Emily Rice to discuss the findings of this study and to help raise awareness on the risk of eye injuries while playing sports. You can watch the full story below courtesy of Channel Nine News.