To determine the dynamic rupture pressure of the human eye by using an in vitro high-rate pressurization system to investigate blunt-impact eye injuries.
Internal pressure was dynamically induced in the eye by means of a drop-tower pressurization system. The internal eye pressure was measured with a small pressure sensor inserted into the eye through the optic nerve. A total of 20 human eye tests were performed to determine rupture pressure and characterize rupture patterns.
The high-rate pressurization resulted in a mean (SD) rupture pressure of 0.97 (0.29) MPa (7275.60 [2175.18] mm Hg). A total of 16 eyes ruptured in the equatorial direction, whereas 4 ruptured in the meridional direction. There was no significant difference in the rupture pressure between the equatorial and meridional directions (P = .16).
As the loading rate increases, the rupture pressure of the human eye increases.
Eye injuries are expensive to treat, given that the estimated annual cost associated with adult vision problems in the United States is $51.4 billion. Determining globe rupture properties will establish injury criteria for the human eye to prevent these common yet devastating injuries.