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This Woman Blew Her Nose So Hard She Fractured A Bone In Her Eye Socket

An X-ray of the woman’s face. BMJ Case Reports 2018

Do you believe whether it is true or not? It really happened some time ago! The story started with a woman aged thirty-six. One day she was hurrying into a hospital with a broken eye socket and blurred vision. What had happened to her ? The woman hadn’t done anything extraordinary rather than blowing her nose, resulting in a fractured face. 

Based on a report released by the journal BMJ Case Reports, it was  the simple force of blowing her nose that made  the bones surrounding her left eye fractured, causing an “orbital blowout fracture.” The woman was diagnosed with swelling and “orbital emphysema, which was a condition where air gets trapped in the soft tissues.  

It was reported that when the woman was working, she blew her nose and temporarily lost vision in both eyes. Two hours later she was found with swelling around her left eye and started bleeding from her left nostril. So she was rushed to the emergency room after another few hours of vision issues and pain on the left side of her head and neck. After a CT scana fracture was diagnosed in her left eye socket and a break in the bone surrounding the eye known as the lamina papyracea.  

In the interview with Live ScienceLead author Dr Sam Myers, who treated the woman, said that this bone was quite thin and could be easily fractured with blunt-force injuries like a fist or baseball to the face, which typically could cause bruising, tenderness, swelling around the eye, redness, and double vision. However, Dr Sam Myers was surprised to see this case in which a person broke an eye socket from blowing nose, because he never heard of such thing during his career as a doctor. 

Analyzing such rare case, Dr Sam Meyers said that the woman “must have had a predisposition or a weakening in the skeletal area around the eye” – she was a heavy smoker of a pack of cigarettes a day. With good treatment, the fracture was relatively easy to handle and her vision was not permanently damaged. A year later it was reported that she had recovered well, but she had to endure the pain on the left side of her face that lasted for 30 minutes to a few hours each day. 

Image shows an inferior orbital (blowout) fracture on the left side of the face in an unrelated case. Wikimedia Commons

Source: Time