What is an orbital blowout fracture?

David R. Demartini, MD
Each eyeball sits inside a boney cavity which protects the eye from injury. This cavity is called the orbit. The walls of the orbit are usually constructed of relatively thin bone which is capable of being fractured causing the wall to collapse ("blows out') into the underlying nasal sinus.This often happens after the eye and orbit are struck by a large solid object such as a fist or a baseball. When the wall of the orbit blows out contents of the orbit can enter the sinus sometimes causing double vision, restrictions in eyeball movement or rarely the whole eyeball disappears into the sinus. Often the patient will notice bleeding from their nose because the blood is coming from the fracured sinus wall. Sometimes infection can developed around the eyeball following a blowout fracture, contaminated from the bacteria in the sinus. Any suspected blowout fracture needs to examined and followed by your eye doctor. Occasionally, a blowout fracture needs surgery to repair the absent boney wall of the orbit but commonly it will repair itself.

Continue Learning about Eye Care

Which Eye Exams Do You Need?
Which Eye Exams Do You Need?
Regular vision checkups are key, since many eye diseases have no symptoms. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults over 40 should be ex...
Read More
Why should I have regular eye exams as I get older?
UCLA HealthUCLA Health
Speak with your doctor about any changes in your vision. People 65 or older should be examined annua...
More Answers
Why should I get my child's eyes checked?
Dr. Michael X. RepkaDr. Michael X. Repka
All children should undergo an evaluation to detect eye and vision abnormalities during the first fe...
More Answers
What Recent Eye Health Developments Have Surprised You the Most?
What Recent Eye Health Developments Have Surprised You the Most?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.