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Eye and Vision Care

Purple Bump Inside Outer Eye Orbit

09/22/2011

Question:

I haven`t been feeling well the past weekend. My daughters family (my grandchildren) all have runny noses, coughing...so I thought I must be coming down with whatever they`ve had. I`ve had a headache and a slight runny nose and sore throat over the weekend, but it`s gone now except for the headache. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia Syndrome, so sore throats are pretty common for me. I never know when I`m really sick until I get a fever, but I don`t think I`ve had one.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning, my right eye hurt a little behind my eye when I moved it and I found a small nodule at the outer corner of my orbit when I look towards my nose. Not on the eye, but in the flesh of the orbit surrounding the eye.

It can`t be seen unless I pull back the skin. It looks a little like a varicose vein, in a way, purplish. It doesn`t hurt much when I push on that part of my eye. No worse than the left eye does in the same place. When I look to the far left (like I`m trying to look at my nose) it doesn`t hurt where this `thing` is, it hurts above and behind my eye like it`s my sinuses, which isn`t anything unusual ...I`ve had my eyes hurt like this before at times. I just thought it was sinuses, which it may just be, and I may have had this `thing` for years, just didn`t notice it before. I did a lot of reading yesterday, books and laptop (was on the couch most of the day). I thought the eye pain might be from eye strain (I don`t normally do a lot of reading due to blurred vision from my meds).

Any ideas what it could be?

Answer:

Wow, you should see your eye doctor for a definitive diagnosis. I obviously cannot be sure what this is without examining you.

But based upon its location and the lack of pain, it could be just a fat deposit (lipodermoid: LY-po-DER-moyd) under the lid. Another possibility is inflammation of your lacrimal gland, which is located in that area of the eye and makes tears that flow from the outer (temporal) part of the eye to the inner (nasal) part. A third possibility is an eye tumor (which may be either malignant or benign); and if it is suspicious-looking, would need a biopsy by an eye surgeon.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Thanks for visiting Netwellness.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University