How to deal with a broken eye socket

The eye socket is a bony cup bordering the eye. It includes the eyeball and the muscles that shift it along with the cranial nerves, tear glands, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves.

What are the types of broken eye socket?

Any or all the orbital bones can be affected if an individual has a broken eye socket. The fractures can be categorized into the following:

  • Orbital rim fractures – this fracture occurs if the eye socket is violently struck by a hard object where a bony piece might break off and driven in the direction of the blow.
  • Blowout fractures – this fracture occurs if the individual was struck by an object bigger than the eye socket such as a blunt object or fist.
  • Trapdoor fractures – this fracture is common among children where the bone of the eye socket flexes outwards and returns into position.

What are the signs?


A broken eye socket will not always necessitate surgical intervention.

The usual indications of a broken eye socket include:

  • Swollen eyelid
  • Diminished or double vision
  • Bruising, pain, tearing or bleeding around the eye
  • Bulging or sunken eye or drooping eyelid
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Inability to move the eye in some directions


A broken eye socket will not always necessitate surgical intervention. The doctor will determine first if the fracture can recuperate on its own.

The individual is instructed to avoid blowing the nose for several weeks after the injury. A nasal decongestant spray might also be prescribed to prevent the need to blow the nose or sneeze. In some cases, antibiotics are given it prevent an infection from developing.

Surgery might be necessary for the following reasons:

  • If there is continued double vision for days after sustaining the injury, it might be an indication of damage to one of the eye muscles that move the eye.
  • The injury has driven the eyeball back in the socket
  • In case half or more of the inferior wall was impaired

In case surgical intervention is necessary, the surgeon must wait for up to 2 weeks after the injury to allow the swelling to settle.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information 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 first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.