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Int Ophthalmol. 1998-1999;22(3):169-73.

Eye injuries associated with paintball guns.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The Zanvyl Krieger Children's Eye Center, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, MD 21287-9028, USA.



This study identifies the various types of ocular injuries sustained after blunt trauma with a paintball fired from a paintball gun.


We report two patients who sustained injury to an eye after being shot with a paintball and review similar cases presented in the world literature. The type of injury sustained and the final visual acuity obtained after a paintball hit to the eye are examined.


The two boys presented were hit in the eye with a paintball resulting in lens subluxation, hyphema formation, and angle recession. Cataract extraction was required in both cases. One boy also had an optic neuropathy and a choroidal rupture. A review of the literature reveals a variety of injuries occur after a paintball hit to the eye. In some of the cases, the damage to the eye has led to loss of vision and at times loss of the eye.


Paintball guns can cause devastating ocular injuries. Wearing protective eye and face gear during this game is essential. We recommend that an anti-fog face mask with a one-piece polycarbonate eye shield be worn by those participating in paintball games.

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