Silent sinus syndrome: potentially misleading features that should be recognized

Published:October 26, 2021DOI:



      Silent sinus syndrome (SSS) usually manifests clinically as hypoglobus and enophthalmos. Patients may experience different symptoms and may present to an assortment of specialties and delay diagnosis and management. The objective of this article was to describe the different and sometimes misleading signs and symptoms of SSS to improve the level of suspicion and reduce time to diagnosis.


      A retrospective consecutive audit of the records of all patients diagnosed with SSS between 2015 and 2019 in the Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Demographic and clinical data including presentation, diagnosis, and symptoms were obtained from the patients’ medical files.


      Ten patients were included; mean age was 42.5 ± 11.5 years (range, 16–56 years). Four patients were initially referred to an ophthalmologist with globe asymmetry, diplopia, eyelid asymmetry, or retraction. Three patients were initially referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist with facial asymmetry or infraorbital paraesthesia. Two patients were referred from the maxillofacial department with an incidental finding, and the last patient was seen initially by the neurology team with headaches.


      SSS has a variable presentation. Patients may have common or misleading signs. Patients may attend different clinics and subspecialties, and physicians should be aware of the broad range of presenting signs in this condition to prevent delay in diagnosis and further morbidity.
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