Automobile Air Bags: Friend or Foe? A Case of Air Bag-Associated Ocular Trauma and a Related Literature Review

Although air bags are placed in automobiles to act as safety devices, they have been shown to carry a risk of injury to themselves. Air bags explode at speeds up to 200 mph, and have the potential to cause both blunt trauma and chemical injury to the eye. This article presents a case report of ocular injury due to air bag injury. A 63-year old man was transferred to the authors' clinic; initial examination revealed many signs of blunt ocular trauma of the O.D., including iridodialysis, dislocated lens with traumatic cataract, and traumatic/inflammatory glaucoma. Initial B-scan showed an attached retina O.D. One month later, the patient underwent an attempted pars plana vitrectomy with lensectomy, iris repair, and insertion of an anterior chamber intraocular lens. Complications arose during the procedure and a total retinal detachment developed. The authors conclude that although ocular morbidity can be a direct consequence of air bag deployment, most eye injuries are minimal, and seem to be outweighed by the benefits of air bags. The authors recommend that drivers, as well as passengers, can minimize associated injuries by adhering to specific safety guidelines.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Kenney, Kristin S
    • Fanciullo, Lisa M
  • Publication Date: 2005-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 382-386
  • Serial:
    • Optometry
    • Volume: 76
    • Issue Number: 7
    • Publisher: American Optometric Association
    • ISSN: 1529-1839

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01013496
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 12 2005 5:20AM