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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-105

Can pneumocephalus present as flashes of light? A rare case report

Department of Ophthalmology, Sohar Hospital, Ministry of Health, Sohar, Sultanate of Oman

Correspondence Address:
Santanu Ghosh
Department of Ophthalmology, Sohar Hospital, Ministry of Health, P. O. Box: 49, PC: 311, Sohar
Sultanate of Oman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-620X.209117

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Orbital emphysema and associated pneumocephalus usually result from trauma to orbital bones or due to sinus disease, allowing air to travel from paranasal sinus into orbit and brain. However, it is extremely rare to have orbital emphysema and pneumocephalus in the absence of orbital wall fracture. In our case, a young male was admitted with severe eye pain, diminution of vision due to sudden exposure of compressed air gun. Examination revealed proptosed, emphysematous right eye with conjunctival laceration. Computed tomography scan of the head and orbit revealed multiple radiolucencies with air in the right orbit and brain extending up to the spinal canal without any evidence of orbital sinus or cranial bone fracture. Visual acuity recovered completely on follow–up; however, 2 weeks following injury, the patient developed disabling flashes of light which the patient perceived as central in location and resolved finally over a period of 3 months. Flashes of light, in our case, could be attributable to unnoticed damage to cerebral vasculature or connective tissue surrounding the optic nerve due to pneumocephalus.

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