Ocular sequelae of pneumatic drills


Purpose To determine the ocular sequelae of rockdrilling.

Methods Nineteen rockdrillers and 20 age-, sex- and race-matched control subjects underwent ocular examination in a prospective manner.

Results Subepithelial corneal opacities were found in 12 drillers (63%) and none of the controls; pigmented trabecular meshwork was noted in 13 drillers (68%) and 1 control (5%); low-tension glaucoma was diagnosed in 1 driller (5%); vitreous liquefaction was present in 17 of 17 drillers (100%) examined by a retina specialist and 9 of 20 controls (45%).

Conclusions The sequelae of drilling include corneal scars from proj ectile pieces of drilled stone as well as vibration-induced pigment deposition in the trabecular meshwork and vitreous liquefaction. Wearing of safety glasses is recommended.


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Correspondence to Ahmad M Mansour.

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Mansour, A., Uwaydat, S. & Khouri, A. Ocular sequelae of pneumatic drills. Eye 14, 64–66 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/eye.2000.14

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  • Corneal scar
  • Low-tension glaucoma
  • Pigmented trabecular meshwork
  • Rockdrill
  • Vitreous liquefaction

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