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Eye Cellulitis

Eye Cellulitis

Eye Cellulitis


Orbital cellulitis is a sudden (acute) infection of the tissues around the eye. It affects the eyelids, eyebrow, and cheek.

Source : Medline Plus

There are two types of eyelid cellulitis: preseptal cellulitis and orbital cellulitis.



The part of the affected eye is the eyelid. If the infection worsens, the orbit of the eye can be achieved.



Many of the symptoms of both types of cellulitis are similar and include:

  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Swelling of entire eyelid
  • Soreness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Discharge or pus
  • Mild fever
  • Blurry vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Reduced vision


If orbital cellulitis is present, additional symptoms may include:

  • Eyelid pain and/or pain when moving eye
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Bulging of the eye (proptosis)
  • Limited eye movement
  • Loss of vision

Source : Eye Health Web



Orbital cellulitis is much less common than preseptal cellulitis although data relating to the exact incidence are scant.

Both conditions occur more commonly in the winter months as a result of the increased incidence of paranasal sinus infection.

There is no predilection for gender or race (except in children where orbital cellulitis affects four times as many females).

Both conditions are more common in children: orbital cellulitis more frequently affects those aged 7-12 years, whereas preseptal cellulitis occurs at younger ages (80% of patients are under 10 years of age and most are younger than 5 with a mean age of 21 months).

Preseptal and orbital cellulitis have both been described following eyebrow piercing.

Source : Patient



Orbital cellulitis is a dangerous infection, which can cause lasting problems.

The most common cause of this condition in children is a sinus infection (often Haemophilus influenzae). The infection used to be more common in young children, under the age of 7. It is now rare due to the HiB (Haemophilus influenzae B) vaccine.

The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and beta-hemolytic streptococci may also cause orbital cellulitis.

Orbital cellulitis infections in children may get worse very quickly and can lead to blindness. Medical care is needed right away.


Source : Medline Plus



In some cases, the infection may spread to the eye socket or the eye itself. This can lead to a serious condition called orbital cellulitis. Orbital cellulitis may cause eye pain, vision problems, and even blindness. People who are diagnosed with orbital cellulitis will need to receive care in a hospital.

Source : Health Line



Tests commonly done include:

  • CBC (complete blood count)
  • Blood culture
  • Spinal tap in affected children who are very sick
  • Other tests may include:
  • X-ray of the sinuses and surrounding area
  • CT scan or MRI of the sinuses and orbit
  • Culture of eye and nose drainage
  • Throat culture

Source : Medline Plus



In most cases, a hospital stay is needed. Treatment most often includes antibiotics given through a vein. Surgery may be needed to drain the abscess, or relieve pressure in the space around the eye.

An orbital cellulitis infection can get worse very quickly. A person with this condition must be checked every few hours.

Source : Medline Plus



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