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J Athl Train. 1999 Jan-Mar; 34(1): 25–28.
PMCID: PMC1322870

Traumatic Hyphema in an Intercollegiate Baseball Player: A Case Report

Vincent G. Stilger, HSD, ATC,* Jeromy M. Alt, MS, ATC,* and Todd W. Robinson, MD



To present the case of a collegiate baseball player struck in the right eye.


While attempting a bunt, a 20-year-old collegiate baseball player was hit in the right eye when the ball was deflected off the bat. The athlete bled from the nose, and the right eye swelled shut from eyelid edema. Initial nasal hemorrhage was controlled, and the athlete was referred to the emergency room for further care due to pain in the inferior orbit.

Differential Diagnosis:

Eyelid contusion, traumatic iritis, or traumatic microhyphema to the right eye secondary to blunt trauma.


Immediate treatment consisted of controlling the nasal bleeding with sterile gauze pads. Because of palpable tenderness over the inferior orbit, the athlete was immediately transported to the emergency room.


Hyphema is one of the most common sport-related eye injuries: the incidence is 12.2 cases per 100,000 population, with approximately 37% resulting from sports injury. Racquet sports, baseball, and softball account for more than half of all hyphema injuries in athletics. Individuals with traumatic hyphema rarely require surgery; however, proper initial care, treatment, and referral are imperative to a good prognosis.


Athletic trainers need to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of hyphema and seek medical evaluation immediately in order to avoid secondary complications. With proper recognition, initial care and referral, and appropriate, well-fitted protective eyewear as needed, hyphema can have minimal complications, and the athlete may be able to compete again within 1 to 2 weeks.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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