Broken eye socket

There are different forms of a broken eye socket. It is important to note that the eye socket is the bone-like cup bordering the eye. In some cases, those who ended up with the fracture also have eye injuries that disrupt vision.

What are the types?

All the orbital bones might be affected by a broken eye socket. The fractures can be categorized into the following:

  • Orbital rim fracture – this injury occurs if the eye socket is violently struck by a hard object such as a steering wheel. A fragment of bone might break off and driven into the direction of the blow.
  • Blowout fracture – this injury occurs if hit by something bigger than the eye socket such as a closed fist or rounded object. It results to several fragments of bone. The blowout occurs if a punch or strike to the eye results to the pressure accumulation in the fluid of the eye. This pressure is driven to the eye socket, forcing it to fracture externally.
  • Trapdoor fracture – this injury is prevalent among children due to their flexible bones. Instead of fragmenting of the bone, it flexes outwards and moves back into position. Even though the bones are not damaged, this fracture is considered serious and can result to lasting nerve damage.

What are the indications?

The usual signs of a broken eye socket include:

  • Swollen eyelid
  • Double vision or diminished vision
  • Pain, tearing, bruising or bleeding around the eye
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bulging or sunken eye or droopy eyelid
  • Difficulty moving the eye in some directions

Management of broken eye socket

A broken eye socket will not always require surgery. The doctor will asses if the fracture will recuperate on its own.

The individual is usually instructed to avoid blowing the nose for several weeks after the injury. This aims on preventing the spread of infection from the sinuses to the eye socket tissue.

A decongestant spray might be prescribed by the doctor to prevent the need for sneezing or nose blowing. Most doctors prescribe antibiotics to prevent the recurrence of an infection.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a broken eye socket is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how the injury is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Red Deer First Aid.

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