It's fairly well established that a blow to the head can be a contributing factor to retinal detachment, and there are various people who claim that wearing contact lenses or being nearsighted are contributing factors to retinal detachment in general. For whatever reason, I remember it being "fact" at one point that wearing contact lenses was particularly dangerous if struck on the back of the head during sparring, with some people at our school being required to instead wear sports goggles if they wanted to spar for liability reasons.

Poking around with current material, I don't find any evidence that this was the case, and in fact many people seem to ridicule the idea that contact lenses have any impact on the retina, given that they reside on the front of the eye while the retina is in the back (corneal scratches and the risk of just losing or misplacing a contact lens upon being struck were another matter). Is there any evidence that wearing contact lenses makes you more likely to suffer a retinal detachment from a blow?

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    I wonder if people are maybe conflating retinal damage with corneal damage. Commented May 12, 2020 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


If any study has looked directly at this question, it should not be too hard to find, but I also am not finding it.

The only direct expression of professional opinion on this I've found so far is in this article. It states that "retinal detachment was judged to be unrelated to lens wear" by three of the authors. This seems to be based on general clinical experience; no specific evidence for this opinion is given.

Another study about airbag related eye injuries in general (including but not limited to retinal detachment) says there isn't enough data to draw any conclusions about how contact lenses may influence risk.

This one focuses on specifically on the most common "rhegmatogenous" form of retinal detachment, and in children under the age of 18, identifies four broad kinds of risk factors: "(1) congenital or developmental structural ocular abnormalities, (2) trauma, (3) previous ophthalmologic surgery, and (4) preceding uveitis." Contact lenses are not mentioned.

  • Sometimes evidence of absence is sufficient. Thank you. Commented May 13, 2020 at 14:24

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