Visual disability in selected acts of terror, warfare, and natural disasters of the last 25 years: A concise narrative review


  • Christopher J. Gee, MD
  • Jeremy Bonkowske, MD
  • Shree K. Kurup, MD



visual acuity, ocular injury, ophthalmologic injury, mass disaster, terrorism, bioterrorism, war, earthquake, flood, volcano, hurricane, tsunami


Objective: A review of ocular injury related to mass disaster over the past 25 years, including injury type, treatment, and final visual outcome.
Design: Retrospective review.
Main Outcome Measures: Injury types, treatment, and final visual acuity.
Results: Acts of terror and war result in significant and increasingly more common ocular injury. Natural disasters were much less likely to cause lasting or permanent injury.
Conclusions: Final visual acuity was rarely reported. Primary prevention is superior to treatment in acts of war and terror. Ocular injury is rarely reported by first response to natural disaster.

Author Biographies

Christopher J. Gee, MD

Wake Forest Eye Center, Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Jeremy Bonkowske, MD

Wake Forest Eye Center, Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Shree K. Kurup, MD

Wake Forest Eye Center, Winston Salem, North Carolina.


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How to Cite

Gee, MD, C. J., J. Bonkowske, MD, and S. K. Kurup, MD. “Visual Disability in Selected Acts of Terror, Warfare, and Natural Disasters of the Last 25 Years: A Concise Narrative Review”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 3, no. 1, Jan. 2008, pp. 25-30, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2008.0003.