Badminton - Eye (Ocular) Injuries

Chandra (1974) measured the incidence of eye injuries from different sports over a five year period concluding that Badminton presents the greatest ocular hazard and accounted for 2/3 of all ocular injuries in Malaysia.  At a technique level the ‘Smash’ was responsible for generating the majority of eye injuries.


63 - Total Cases (Data from Chandra 1974)


14% - Hit by racket                          

86% - Hit by shuttle        


70% - Playing doubles   

30% - Playing Singles      


Key Findings

 Increased risk of eye injury was associated with:

  • Playing  doubles
  • Turning around to face their partner increased the risk of being hit by miss-hits

A proportion of the ocular injuries were sustained by novices and inexperienced players, which the author feels would be mitigated if they had been adequately trained and supervised, thereby reducing the risk of injury.

 Chandra (1974) concluded that while no piercing injuries occurred in this study (from rackets or shuttles hitting glass spectacles) this was a potential risk mechanism. The author also considered that there would have been 19% less ocular injuries had players worn protective lenses or goggles, and therefore recommended that this be considered to prevent ocular injuries.


Kelly (1987) warned of the hazard of serious eye injuries associated with playing Badminton describing two different mechanisms of injury. Six cases were reviewed with x5 injuries resulting from shuttle impacts to the eye with x4 from impacts at relatively close range.  Contact with the shuttlecock at areas close to the net would result in the highest force of impact as well as affording the shortest time available for the defending player to react and protect their face.


The 6th case involved an eye injury resulting from an incident where a players glasses were struck by their doubles partners racket.

Kelly (1987) recommends that Badminton players should:

  • Avoid wearing glasses with glass lenses
  • Keep their racket up to protect their face
  • Consider using protective glasses with plastic lenses

A study by Hoy et al (1994) concluded that the incidence and severity of eye injuries observed in their 12 month study were low and did not recommend the use of protective glasses.


Other Related Articles 



References: - Eye Injuries


Chandran S. (1974).

Ocular Hazards In Badminton.

Brit J Ophthla (1974) 58, 757.


Hoy K., Lindblad B., Terkelsen C., Helleland H., Terkelsen C. (1994)

Badminton injuries--a prospective epidemiological and socioeconomic study.

Br J Sports Med 1994; 28:276-279.


Kelly S. (1987).

Serious eye injury in badminton players.

Br J Ophthalmol 1987; 71:746-747.

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