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A broken eye socket always requires medical attention, but treatment and recovery times can vary according to the severity of the break.

Medical Care

The eye socket is also called the orbit. While it feels like one solid structure, it consists of seven different bones that connect to create four different areas.


The main symptom of a broken eye socket is pain around the eye. Depending on the type of fracture and its severity, the additional symptoms below may also occur:. Accidental injuries are the most common overall cause of eye socket fractures.

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Fractures to the thicker bones in the eye socket may be more common following traumatic events, such as falling from a height or having a car accident. Sports injuries can cause a broken eye socket, especially sports where a ball or stick can hit the face. Using tools such as hammers, drills, and power saws may also increase a person's risk of eye injuries.

Other causes include physical assaults and fighting. A punch or kick in the eye may be enough to lead to an indirect floor fracture if the pressure on the eye is too much for the thin bone to withstand. In most cases, a doctor will make an initial diagnosis after physically inspecting the eye.

Eyelid, Lacrimal, Orbital, Facial & Cosmetic Surgery | inland Eye Institute - Inland Eye Institute

They may also check eye pressure and ask questions about the person's vision, such as whether the eye can look in all directions. To help confirm the diagnosis, doctors use imaging tests like X-rays and CT scans.

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The individual may need referring to a specialist to ensure that they receive comprehensive treatment. For example, an ophthalmologist can help diagnose vision damage, and a neurologist can advise on any nerve damage. Many broken eye sockets heal without surgery. If doctors believe that the fracture can heal naturally, they may recommend some complementary treatments, including antibiotics to prevent infections and special nasal sprays to stop the person sneezing.

Eyelid, Lacrimal, Orbital, Facial & Cosmetic Surgery

Doctors may also recommend that people avoid sneezing or blowing their nose while the eye socket is healing. These actions can put unnecessary pressure on the fracture and may spread bacteria from the sinuses to the injured eye socket. While the swelling and bruising may start to improve after a week or so, the fracture can take much longer to heal. Recovery time varies greatly depending on how severe the fracture is and whether or not there are any infections or other complications. Surgery for a broken eye socket can be risky and is not always the best treatment method.

If surgery is necessary, the surgeon may wait a few weeks until the swelling in the eye reduces. A reconstructive surgeon that deals with eye injuries may perform the surgery. Depending on the specific fracture, the surgical procedures may include:. It is not always possible to prevent accidents, but taking measures to protect the eyes and face may help reduce the chances of breaking the eye socket.

Preventative measures include:.

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Anyone experiencing symptoms of a broken eye socket should seek immediate medical attention. With proper treatment, the outlook for eye socket fractures is good. Even when surgery is necessary to repair a fracture, it is likely that the fracture will heal without long-term complications.

Find out what gives our bones their remarkable ability to heal breaks in a finely tuned process that involves stem cells, cartilage, and bone. The Service offers management of problems of the tear drainage system in children and adults.

Zygomatic Complex Fractures Treatment & Management

The Service also offers expert management of a variety of conditions affecting the orbit, such as Graves eye disease , inflammation, fractures, and vascular malformations. Comprehensive management of orbital disorders is provided by a multidisciplinary team that may include ophthalmologists, ocularists, neuro-ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, neurosurgeons, dermatologists, and nuclear medicine specialists.

View related conditions and treatments. Please note, we diagnose, treat, and manage many different eye conditions and diseases in our clinics.