Broken Eye Socket: What Are The Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment?

Severely broken eye socket of a female.

Hey! Do you have a broken eye socket? A broken eye socket can cause severe pain, swelling, and even a black eye. If you have any of these, it would be best to contact an eye surgeon. Immediate medical attention can prevent the condition from worsening. This way, you can save your eyes from further damage in the long run.

 

What is a Broken Eye Socket?

A boy had a blow in his eyes.The other term for an eye socket is an orbit. It is the bony cup that surrounds the eyes. In actuality, the orbit consists of seven different bones. Additionally, it contains the eyeball and the muscles that move it. A hard blow in your eye can break your eye socket. Another term for this is an orbital fracture.

Before we proceed to the details about an orbital fracture, let us first discuss some details about the four parts of the eye socket. You may see them below.

  • Inferior wall (Orbital floor): It consists of the upper jawbone, a part of the cheekbone (zygomatic), and a small part of the hard palate (palatine bone).
  • Zygomatic bone: It involves the eye socket’s temporal or outer sidewall. Besides that, you can find several essential nerves in this area.
  • Medial wall: It includes the ethmoid bone. This bone serves as the separator between the nasal cavity and the brain.
  • Superior wall: It is the eye socket’s roof. It involves a part of the frontal bone or forehead.

You can get eye injuries from getting a blow in any of the abovementioned parts. In this case, we can say that this orbital fracture can involve any or all of the seven bones in the eye socket. An orbital fracture comes into different types, as we have stated below.

  • Orbital rim fracture
  • Direct orbital floor fracture
  • Indirect orbital floor fracture
  • Trapdoor fracture

These fractures differ according to their locations, and the effects also vary.

 

Symptoms of a Broken Eye Socket

Aside from pain in the eye, several other symptoms can occur with it. The symptoms usually vary according to the type of fracture and how severe the condition is. Generally speaking, here are the typical signs you can feel when you have a broken eye socket.

  • There will be swelling in your eyelid.
  • A black eye can form around the injury.
  • You can also see bleeding in the white part of the eye.
  • Furthermore, you might experience double vision, blurred, or difficulty seeing.
  • It will also be difficult for you to move your eye.
  • Your eye can even become sensitive to light.
  • As for a trapdoor fracture, it often occurs with nausea and vomiting.
  • Additionally, with a broken eye socket, your eyelids may also droop.
  • Your eye can even sink or bulge after a fracture.
  • There are cases of a flattened cheek as well, making it difficult to open the mouth.
  • Lastly, a pocket of air can also form under the skin.

These symptoms appear differently based on the type and severity of the fracture. Please see below how you can get an injury in your eye socket.

 

Common Causes

Eye injuries or blowout fractures can break one or more bones surrounding the eye. A blowout fracture can be dangerous. On the other hand, most of the cases recover well after receiving the proper treatment. Before we move into that part, let us first discuss the possible causes of eye injuries or blowout fractures.

In general, the most typical causes of eye socket fractures are accidental injuries. It can be from falling from a certain height or if a person suffered a car accident. A direct impact on the eye can lead to the breakage of the bones in the eye socket.

Additionally, even those who play sports are susceptible to experience eye injuries. A blow coming from a ball, bat, or perhaps a stick can target the eye accidentally. In this case, sports injuries are also one consideration that should take place.

A student had a fist fight at school.Some activities can also increase the risk of getting an injury in the eyes. It includes the usage of tools, such as hammers, drills, and power saws. Furthermore, an eye injury is also evident once a person experiences physical assaults and into fighting.

As you can see, several causes can be the source of hurting the eyes that lead to minor or significant injuries. It would be best to be aware of the symptoms, such as double vision and pain. Double vision and pain are most likely to occur along with other symptoms after an injury.

 

Treatment

As we already mentioned earlier, immediate medical attention is necessary in these cases. Eventually, broken eye sockets don’t usually require surgery. Only your doctor can tell if the injury can heal on its own.

They may also recommend taking antibiotics to prevent infection. Additionally, you might also need to use special nasal sprays to prevent sneezing temporarily. It might take several weeks after the injury.

The last resort will be a surgical operation. Your doctor is most likely to arrive at this decision if the injury is severe. In this case, the doctor needs to wait until the swelling disappears before proceeding with the surgery.

Overall, it is necessary to immediately proceed to the doctor if you incurred an injury to one or both of your eyes.

 

References:

Broken eye socket: Symptoms, surgery, and recovery, Jon Johnson, Medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, O.D., June 1, 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322011

What Is an Orbital Fracture?, Kierstan Boyd, Reviewed by Philip R. Rizzuto, MD FACS, Sept. 28, 2017, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-orbital-fracture

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