If the Terminology Is Not Standardized

Akin to two people not speaking a common language (Fig. 1.1.1), ophthalmologists are unable to unambiguously communicate with each other if the terms they use to describe an eye injury are not standardized. If the terms used do not have straightforward definitions, practitioners cannot understand each other when discussing an ocular trauma case, nor can research be conducted, and its results published, without the risk of the data being misinterpreted.

There are very few publications in the literature that provide definitions for the terms used, and those that do may not enforce its own definitions [1]. Consequently, inconsistencies are often found even within the same publication. Common problems include:

• Use of different terms to describe the same injury ("double penetrating" [15], "double-perforating" [17] and "perforating" [7])

• Use of the word "blunt" without specifying whether it refers to the agent or to the resulting injury [8]

• Alternatively using, even within the same publication, two different terms (penetrating, perforating) to describe the same injury [11]

• Use of the term "penetrating" to describe any open globe injury [3]

• Use of the term "rupture" to describe any open globe injury [16]

• Lack of indicating the tissue of reference when using the term "perforating" [4]

These misnomers are summarized in Fig. 1.1.2, and in Tables 1.1.1 and 1.1.2.

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