Orbital Cellulitis- Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is orbital cellulitis?
Orbital cellulitis refers to infection of the fat and muscles around the eye. It affects the eyelids, eyebrows, and cheeks. This infection may begin suddenly or be a result of an infection that gradually becomes worse. Orbital cellulitis is a complicated infection, which can cause difficult problems. Orbital cellulitis infections in children may get worse very quickly and can lead to blindness. With prompt treatment, the affected person can recover fully.
Orbital cellulitis is different than periorbital cellulitis, which is an infection of the eyelid or skin around the eye.
What causes orbital cellulitis?
Haemophilus influenza bacteria cause orbital cellulitis in children. It often starts out as a bacterial sinus infection.
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and beta-hemolytic streptococci may also cause orbital cellulitis.
What are the possible complications of orbital cellulitis?
The following complications may arise due to cellulitis infection:
- Hearing loss
- Optic nerve damage and loss of vision
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis
- Septicemia or blood infection
What are the symptoms of orbital cellulitis?
The following are the symptoms of orbital cellulitis:
- Difficult eye movements, perhaps with double vision
- Pain and swelling of upper and lower eyelid
- Bulging eyes
- Decreased vision
- Shiny, red or purple eyelid
- Pain when moving the eye
- Fever, often 102°F (38.8°C) or higher
- General ill feeling
How is orbital cellulitis diagnosed?
The doctor will examine areas around the eyes and review the symptoms. The doctor may order the following tests for diagnosis:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Blood culture
- Spinal tap in affected children who are very sick
The doctor may also do the following other tests:
- 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
How is orbital cellulitis treated?
Mostly, cellulitis is treated with antibiotics orally or given through a vein (IV). Surgery may also be used to drain the abscess or relieve pressure in the space around the eye. Most of the affected people need a hospital admission.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.