At La Peer Health Systems’ Orbital Surgery Center of Excellence in Beverly Hills, our surgeons are qualified and ready to treat any case in which the orbit is affected, including trauma. Usually this type of injury results from athletic activity, car accidents, or physical altercations. Eye trauma like this is very dangerous and requires urgent treatment. In cases like these, time is of the essence. It is important that you contact a qualified team of doctors that can work together to make the necessary repairs.
Often, trauma to the eye or eye socket can cause fractures around the eye socket (ie orbital blow out fracture), eyelid laceration, damage to the sinuses or tear drain, and even bleeding within the eye.
In some cases, the injury could be so severe that it causes irreversible damage to the eye, leaving the vision damaged. These injuries can be very painful and disfiguring. In cases such as these, you surgeon may recommend removing the eye with a procedure known as enucleation. This is a last case scenario for any of our surgeons at the Orbital Surgery Center of Excellence.
Our ophthalmologists, ENTs, and plastic surgeons specialize in orbital trauma and are ready to treat any case.
Types of Orbital Trauma
Orbital trauma (eye trauma) is defined as any type of injury to the orbit, which includes the midface area bones, muscle, eye, and surrounding tissues.
The following are all cases in which someone would need to undergo orbital trauma surgery:
· Impact by force
· Penetrating injury
· Blow-out fractures
Injuries by Force
In this type of injury, an object called an “orbital foreign body” will come into contact with the eye causing a trauma. For your appointment, please bring the object or write down a description of it as well as the speed and impact with which it struck to help the doctor assess the degree of severity. Your Beverly Hills surgeon may chose to do an MRI or CAT scan to gather more information
Based on the history, ocular examination and radiological study, one of the surgeons at the Orbital Surgery Center of Excellence will determine whether surgical removal of the foreign body is recommended. Removal of the orbital foreign body, if required, will occur in the operating room setting. Post-operatively, your medication will include an antibiotic ointment to the wound area and antibiotics by mouth.
Injuries that penetrate the orbital region can result in skin trauma, possibly hiding deeper injuries. In these cases, the eyelid, eye muscle, bone, or the brain can be damaged and it is recommended that you get a CT scan to assess the orbital area and surrounding tissues.
The eye is protected by bone and muscle. However in cases when an object hits the eye, it may not puncture the skin but cause a blowout fracture. These cases are often seen as a result of a ball or fist hitting the eye, or a dashboard striking the eye during a car accident.
Symptoms of a blowout fracture could include:
· Double vision
· Protrusion of the eye
· Numbness in the midface
Optic Nerve Damage
In less than 5% of head trauma cases, there is optic nerve damage. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain, and allows you to see. In cases where the nerve is damaged, there will usually be instant vision loss. Sometimes steroids can be help the optic nerve heal, however in other cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the bones around the optic nerve as well. These cases are very severe and involve a considerable amount of work. It is essential that you see a qualified and experienced oculoplastic surgeon for your treatment plan.
A Different Treatment for Every Case
Since trauma is unpredictable and can cause so many different variables, it is important to remember that every individual case deserves its own assessment and treatment plan. Just like no two eyes are alike, no two traumas are alike. Different doctors may be called in on the case due to the area affected, but the outcome truly depends on the severity of the case.
Next, learn about enucleation.