Epidemiology

Corneal abrasions are common eye injuries in men and women across all age groups, but occur more frequently in men due to higher-rates of occupational eye injuries.[1][2] In a study of emergency departments in the US, the most common injury to the eye was a contusion or abrasion (44.4%), followed by a foreign body (30.8%).[3] In the UK, 12% to 13% of patients presenting to eye emergency units have corneal abrasions.[2][4] At a general hospital emergency department in the UK, 6% of all cases were eye-related, 80% of which were corneal abrasions or foreign body-related.[5] In a study of an eye emergency service in Ireland, corneal abrasion (28.4%) and corneal foreign body (26.9%) were the most commonly diagnosed traumatic presentations.[6] Corneal abrasions are common in the workplace. For example, the estimated annual incidence is 15 per 1000 employees in US automotive industry workers, accounting for 6% of total injuries.[7] Of all eye injuries in these patients, 87% were related to corneal foreign bodies, and one third of the patients were unable to resume their work for 1 day.[7] In primary care clinics in the US, eye complaints are responsible for 2% of visits, with traumatic injuries and foreign bodies responsible for 8% of these visits.[8]

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