SAN DIEGO -- The popularity of airsoft guns has triggered an epidemic for doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital, 10News reported.
More than 20 children have been treated there for eye injuries caused by the guns so far this year.
Hank Houtman has been told he is one of the lucky ones.
“(After being hit in the eye), it automatically went black and the pain was instantly unreal. I dropped the gun, ran to the mirror and saw a puddle of blood in the pupil. My eye was completely black. Where it hit was red and bloodshot,” said Houtman.
The guns do come with warning labels and goggles are also usually part of a package deal.
However, doctors have said far too many people have not been wearing the goggles.
“The bullet hits the eye and the force tears blood vessels and causes severe hemorrhaging. It can be blinding, either immediately or long-term,” said pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Colin Scher.
Scher said Houtman should get his full sight back, but he'll require yearly check-ups for the rest of his life. Scher also added that long-term damage might not reveal itself for many years.