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Orbital emphysema after a protracted episode of sneezing in a patient with no history of trauma or sinus surgery

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November 1, 2010
by Qasim A. Khader, MD and Khader J. Abdul-Baqi, MD, PhD


Orbital emphysema is a benign self-limiting condition. It can occur directly (as a result of trauma to the face) or indirectly (secondary to a blowout fracture). We report a case of orbital emphysema in a 38-year-old man who presented with ecchymosis of the right eye, pressure within the right orbit, and periorbital swelling following a protracted episode of vigorous sneezing. The diagnosis was confirmed by computed tomography. Systemic antibiotics were given, and the patient was cautioned to avoid blowing his nose. His signs and symptoms resolved within 1 week.

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