As additional information comes in about the wounds associated with modern warfare, new legislation and actions need to be enacted.
Passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, the military eye trauma measure will establish a Department of Defense Center of Excellence. The center is intended to improve tracking, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for service members with service-connected eye injuries. This legislation also will create a formal registry for electronic patient records.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 54% of soldiers treated for traumatic brain injury at Walter Reed Medical Center also report vision problems. Overall, up to 16% of Iraq Veterans have reported significant vision problems.
In the current wars, IEDs have caused more than half of all combat eye injuries, while rocket-propelled grenades and mortars have contributed to most of the remaining eye wounds.