gms | German Medical Science

21st Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society and 8th Symposium of the International Society of Ocular Trauma (ISOT)

German Retina Society
International Society of Ocular Trauma

19.06. - 22.06.2008, Würzburg

The effects of Bungee jumping on the eye

Meeting Abstract

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  • Andries Stulting - Bloemfontein/South Africa

Retinologische Gesellschaft. International Society of Ocular Trauma. 21. Jahrestagung der Retinologischen Gesellschaft gemeinsam mit dem 8. Symposium der International Society of Ocular Trauma. Würzburg, 19.-22.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocISOTRG2008V011

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 18, 2008

© 2008 Stulting.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Isolated case reports of ocular injury after bungy jumping have appeared in the literature, for example, submacular haemorrhage, acute PVD, retinal detachment, subconjunctival haemorrhage, orbital emphysema and direct ocular trauma. According to our knowledge, no prospective study was done before to determine the incidence or nature of ocular injuries associated with bungy jumping.

Aim: A prospective study was carried out at Bloukrans River Bridge, Storms River, in the Republic of South Africa. The Bloukrans River Bridge is the highest commercial Bungy Jump Site (216 meters) in the world.

Methods: This study was carried out on all Bungy jumpers during a 10 day period after voluntary consent was given. An ophthalmic and medical history were taken and an ophthalmic examination carried out BEFORE and 30 minutes AFTER the jump. The visual acuity was taken pre- and post-jump and a slitlamp examination with photography with a small pupil fundus camera was taken pre-and post-jump.

Results: There were 120 people in the study, 84 males and 36 females. The average age was 26.9 years (ranging from 13 to 58 years). Two people had Diabetes mellitus and one was hypertensive. There were 28 myopes (23.3%) and 3 hyperopes (2.5%). Five jumpers had previous ocular surgery (LASIK for myopia = 5 and LTK = 1). There were 8 contact lens wearers who jumped (6.7%).

The most significant finding was petechial subconjunctival haemorrhages in 101 patients (84.2%). These petechial haemorrhages ocurred in the superotemporal araea in 89% of cases, 7% in the interpalpebral area and 4% in the inferior fornix. There was no change in the visual acuity in 83.3% of cases. One patient developed a bilateral posterior vitreous detachment.

Conclusions: The majority of bungy jumpers suffered from petechial subconjunctival haemorrhages (84.2%). This may be related to venous congestion to the eyes as the bungy jumpers had to lie with the head upside down for 2 to 3 minutes after the jump before being hoisted up to the bridge by a retriever. There is a potential risk for bungy jumpers with altered ocular circulation or retinal vascular disease.