broken eye socket

Broken eye socket: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

Broken eye socket is caused by fracture of eye socket inside the eye and is treated by natural healing or by the help of a surgery.

Eye socket:

It is the bony structure that surrounds the eye in order to provide protection to the eye. Apart from providing protection, it also connects all the nerves, muscles present inside the eye that helps in movement of eye.  

Broken eye socket:

The broken eye socket causes intense pain, followed by swelling and black eye. An eye socket is made up of seven bones connected to four other areas. Damage or fracture at any one of these areas causes a broken eye socket.


1.Orbital rim fracture:

Here the fracture is seen in the outer edges of the eye socket. An external force or injury such as a car accident causes the breakage of thick orbital rim. This can also cause severe damage to the other parts of the eye such as muscles or nerves.

2.Direct orbital floor fracture:

Sometimes the orbital rim fracture becomes severe and causes the fracture in orbital floor. It usually seen in severe traumatic cases.

3.Indirect orbital floor fracture:

This is caused when a person is hit with an object such as a ball, elbow or fist which creates a hole in the orbital floor inside the eye. The eye muscles, nerves are trapped inside this hole which cause visual disturbances and pain in the eye. This fracture is also called as blowout fracture.

4.Trapdoor fracture:

This condition is seen usually in children because their eye bones are flexible and an outward flexing of the orbital rim causes trapdoor fracture. It is not a fracture but can cause severe pain and swelling inside the eye.


  • Main symptom of broken eye socket condition, is pain around the eye.
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Swelling of the eye
  • Appearance of black eye around the injury
  • Bleeding in white part of the eye.
  • Upper lip area, forehead and cheeks undergo numbness.
  • Eyelid drooping
  • Light sensitivity
  • Due to severe pain, opening of mouth becomes difficult.
  • Flattened cheeks


  Usually, eye socket fractures occur mostly due to accidents i.e., during sports or severe accident

  • Accidental eye injures are the common cause for eye socket fractures. Any incidents such as car accidents or by falling from a height leads to fracture inside the eye. It causes orbital floor fracture or orbital rim fracture.
  • While playing sports, eye injuries can be fatal sometimes which sometimes causes indirect orbital floor fracture. It also causes severe trauma to an individual.
  • Physical assaults i.e., fights causes eye injures which sometimes causes eye socket fractures. And trapdoor fractures occur in children due to flexible eye bones. Usage of harmful weapons such as rods or sticks can increase one’s chance of getting injured.


One can easily diagnose eye socket fractures by seeing swelling of the eye and blackening around the eye.

Doctor can confirm fracture by using CT scan or x ray to determine the severity of the fracture. But, consulting various specialists helps in ranging the fracture severity, for a neurologist can tell about the nerve damage, whereas an ophthalmologist advises about the vision damage.


 There are two ways of treating eye socket fractures i.e, using surgery or not. Eye socket fractures can be healed naturally by using medications. Use of antibiotics is seen in this case and special nasal sprays are used to prevent sneezing of the individual. When the person is undergoing treatment for eye fracture, he/she should avoid sneezing.

Precautions taken:

  • The person is made to sleep with extra pillows so that his head is elevated.
  • No strain should be given to the patient and care must be taken while lifting things.
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen is given to decrease pain.
  • Use of corticosteroids such as prednisone are prescribed for a week.
  • Usage of ice packs, so that swelling can be reduced.


An eye surgery is not a recommended option for treating eye fractures as surgery can be a risky option and must be performed carefully. Sometimes, even after surgery, the eye is pushed back inside the socket which causes facial deformity which is long lasting and shows major effect. Sometimes, double vision or blurred vision is seen even after surgery has taken place. This visual problems can cause severe effects to the individual even after recovering.

But surgery is recommended in some cases only. In a condition of Enophthalmos i.e, the eye ball is pushed into the socket. In order to treat this, a surgery is required. To treat facial deformity which is caused by the injury then surgery is required when more than half of the inferior wall is broken.

The surgeon must take at least 2 weeks to perform a surgery after the injury occurs so that swelling can be reduced.

Healing and recovery:

When a person is healing, he is given special nasal sprays so that sneezing can be avoided and this is required because frequent moving of head or eye can create problems. Sometimes, bacteria from sinuses attacks the injured eye socket.

Recovery from fracture takes more time than swelling or bruising of eye. It depends on the severity of the fracture based on which the recovery time can be estimated.

When an eye socket fracture is treated using a surgery, it takes more time to heal and the surgery must undergo various other procedures based on type of fracture such as

  • The trapped muscles, nerves and ligaments are freed and the bone fragments are removed carefully.
  • Any facial deformity is reconstructed to cover them. The eye socket is again restructured.

Even after surgery, the individual must go for regular checkups for few weeks. The person who has undergone surgery requires at least two to four months to recover completely. If it increases to four to six months, then eye muscle surgery is required or special corrective glasses are used.


The accidents which cause eye fractures can’t be avoided, but there is a possibility to prevent broken eye socket injury.

We all know that accidents are major cause of eye related injury, so staying careful and alert in the surroundings can help. For example, using a protective mask while playing games or sports can prevent accidents. During repairs, one must always wear protective eyewear to protect the eyes. Wearing goggles during labs or near explosives is must to avoid unfavorable incidents.

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