Eye and orbit ultrasound

Eye and Orbit Ultrasound: Preperation, Procedure, Types, Risks, and More

An eye and orbit ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging test that uses sound waves to produce detailed images of the eyes and the orbit, which is the area of the skull that contains the eyes. It’s sometimes used to diagnose and monitor a range of eye conditions, including tumors, abnormal growths, and eye problems that might be related to other diseases, such as autoimmune disorders.

Why Eye and Orbit Ultrasound?

An eye and orbit ultrasound may be used when other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans, can’t be used. It might also be used if a doctor suspects a child has an eye problem related to another disorder such as an autoimmune condition.

Eye and orbit ultrasound creates detailed images of the orbit, which is the area of the skull that holds the eyes. It can provide detailed information about the size and structure of the various parts of the eyes, as well as the eye socket and adjacent structures. It can also look for any abnormalities in and around the orbit, such as a tumor or inflammation.

Preparation for Eye and Orbit Ultrasound

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions for preparation. This might include:

  • Not eating a few hours before the ultrasound procedure
  • Avoiding wearing any kind of jewelry that might obstruct the image
  • Taking off any eye makeup, lotions, or creams
  • Advising your doctor of any chronic disorders you have
  • Pregnant women should advise the doctor

Procedure for Eye and Orbit Ultrasound

Eye and orbit ultrasound generally involves the following steps:

  • You will be asked to lay down on an examination table with your head tilted back so the front of your eyes are visible.
  • Your eyelids will be gently opened to allow the ultrasound probe access to the eyes, and a gel will be applied to the area to make it easier to apply the probe.
  • The ultrasound technician will move the probe over your eye area from one side to the other, and will focus on different parts of your eyes and orbital sockets to get a detailed view.
  • The technician will also take measurements of your eyes and orbit and may use Doppler to look for any blood flow abnormalities.
  • The entire procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.

Types of Eye and Orbit Ultrasound

There are two types of eye and orbit ultrasound:

  • A detailed eye and orbit ultrasound looks at the eyes and orbit to produce detailed images and look for any problems. It can provide information about size, shape, and structure of the eyes and orbit.
  • A Doppler eye and orbit ultrasound looks at the blood vessels in and around the eyes to check for any abnormalities. It’s especially useful in diagnosing and monitoring certain disorders such as glaucoma and retinal diseases.

Risks Associated with Eye and Orbit Ultrasounds

Eye and orbit ultrasound is generally safe. There is no direct radiation, and the ultrasound waves cannot hurt you. However, there are still potential risks associated with any medical procedure. These include:

  • Burns or irritation from the gel used in the procedure
  • Pain or discomfort from the probe
  • Swelling or infection at the probe site
  • Allergic reactions to the gel or dye used in the procedure
  • Damage to eye tissue due to incorrect use of the probe


Eye and orbit ultrasound is a safe and effective imaging technique for diagnosing and monitoring a range of eye conditions. It can provide detailed images of the eyes and orbit, as well as any blood flow abnormalities. While there are some potential risks associated with the procedure, these risks are generally minimal.