Orbit Injuries

The eye is well protected by its surrounding bone and by the speed with which the lids close tightly when danger threatens. The eyes often escape unharmed even when facial injury is severe and the bony socket (the orbit) has been fractured.

Fracture of the orbit by a baseball
Fracture of the orbit by a baseball

The most serious injuries involve the cornea and the internal crystalline lens, leading to corneal scars and cataract. Blunt injury to the eyeball tends to be less dangerous, but, if severe, may cause rupture and collapse of the globe, loss of contents and detachment of the retina. Lesser degrees of injury may cause the internal lens to become opaque (concussion cataract) or may cause bleeding into the jelly of the eye.

Blunt injuries, even if quite minor, may result in bleeding into the front chamber of the eye. This will affect vision for a day or two until the blood is absorbed. Usually there is full recovery, but later there may be the complication of an abnormal rise in the pressure within the eyeball. Recurrent bleeding is a serious complication, tending to cause permanent visual loss.


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