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Home :: Eye Disease

Orbital Cellulitis - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Corneal Abrasion
Dry Eyes
Eye Stye
Inclusion Conjunctivitis
Orbital Cellulitis
Retinal Detachment
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Vascular Retinopathies

Orbital Cellulitis most often presents with symptoms similar to preseptal cellulits such as red and swollen eyelids, but also includes pain, blurred or double vision, fever, headache, and a red eye. These conditions refer to an inflammation and infection of the tissue and skin that surround the eye. Your baby won't be able to tell you if his eye hurts, but if his eyelid is swollen and red, call his doctor right away. Both of these conditions are serious and require immediate medical attention by your child's physician. This infection usually results from the spread of another nearby infection such as conjunctivitis or sinusitis. Treatment is with antibiotics and sometimes surgical drainage. The most common location of a subperiorbital abscess is along the medial orbital wall. Orbital cellulitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues in the orbit of the eye posterior to the orbital septum.

Orbital cellulitis affects the eye socket (orbit) as well as the skin closest to it. A CT scan confirms the diagnosis and may further be necessary to rule-out a foreign body in the orbit (eye socket). Periorbital cellulitis is a serious but treatable infection of the tissues around the eye. Preseptal and orbital cellulitis are 2 distinct diseases that share a few clinical symptoms and signs. Periorbital cellulitis is more common in younger children than adults. Pre-septal cellulitis involves the area from the skin of the eyelid to the bony area that encloses the eye. Orbital cellulitis is an acute infection of the tissues immediately surrounding the eye, including the eyelids, eyebrow, and cheek. The medial orbital wall is thin and perforated not only by numerous blood valveless vessels and nerves but also by numerous other defects (Zuckerkandl dehiscences).

Causes of Orbital Cellulitis

The common Causes of Orbital Cellulitis:

  • Stye on the eyelid.
  • Injury to the area.
  • Infections that spread from the bloodstream.
  • Bug bite or sting to the eyelid.

Symptoms of Orbital Cellulitis

Some common Symptoms of Orbital Cellulitis:

  • Bulging eyes
  • General malaise
  • Eye may appear red.
  • Decrease in vision.
  • Fever.
  • General discomfort .
  • Shiny, red or purple eyelid
  • Painful swelling of upper and lower eyelids

Treatment of Orbital Cellulitis

  • Your child may be admitted to the hospital for antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) catheter. Hospitalization also allows for close evaluation of your child and the condition.
  • Antibiotics are given to treat the infection. They will be started immediately, even before results from the laboratory have come back. Antibiotics are generally given by mouth for three weeks. If the infection is serious, the first week of antibiotics will be given through an intravenous drip.
  • Consultation with an ophthalmologist (eye care specialist).
  • Surgery may be performed to drain a collection of pus or an infected sinus cavity.
  • Surgical drainage of the sinuses or any abscesses of the eye is sometimes needed.