The orbit, commonly called the eye socket, is a bony structure in the skull that surrounds and protects the eye and associated structures such as muscles, nerves and blood vessels. It plays an essential role in the anatomy of the face and is crucial for the normal function of vision.
Each orbit has a complex shape and consists of seven bones: frontal, sphenoid, zygomatic, maxilla, palatine, ethmoid, and lacrimal. These bones form a four-sided pyramid that is open to the front.
Contents of the eye socket:
The orbit contains the eye, eye muscles, eye nerves (including the optic nerve), blood vessels, tear ducts, and fatty tissue that cushion and protect the eye. These structures are responsible for eye movement, tear production, vision, and supplying the eye with nutrients and oxygen.
The orbit and its contents can be affected by various diseases, e.g. due to trauma (e.g. broken bones), inflammation, infections, tumours and congenital malformations. Problems in the eye socket can lead to pain, blurred vision, double vision, and changes in eye position.
Diagnosis and treatment:
Diagnosing orbital diseases requires a thorough examination by an ophthalmologist and an oral surgeon. Imaging procedures such as digital volume tomography (DVT), computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are often essential to determine the exact cause and extent of the disease. Treatment depends on the specific condition, ranging from drug therapies to surgical procedures.
The health of the eye socket and its contents is critical to maintaining visual function and overall well-being. Any symptom that indicates a problem in the orbit should be taken seriously, and medical attention should be sought immediately.