Orbital Cellulitis

Orbital cellulitis is a dangerous bacterial infection and inflammation of the skin around the eye, which can include the eyelids, eyebrows and cheeks. Without treatment, cellulitis can cause a permanent loss of vision. It can also attack the lymph system of the body causing complications.

Causes of Orbital Cellulitis

Cellulitis is most often the result of a staph or strep infection. Cellulitis may occur as a result of an infection in another part of the body, such as the sinus, which then spreads to the eyelid or orbit of the eye. Some of the causes of cellulitis may include:

  • Skin wounds
  • Surgery
  • A dental procedure
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Beta-hemolytic streptococci
  • Trauma
  • Bug bite
  • Stye
  • Haemophilus influenzae

The rise in immunizations with the flu vaccine has reduced the number of cases of cellulitis, specifically pre-septal cellulitis. It is important to clean any wounds carefully and follow any instructions your doctor or dentist may have given you for post-operative care.

Symptoms of Orbital Cellulitis

  • Swelling of the upper or lower eyelid
  • Redness
  • Eye pain
  • Fever
  • Discomfort in the eyelid and general eye area.
  • Inability to move the eyeball
  • Vision changes
  • Swelling of the cheek or eyebrow area

Diagnosis of Orbital Cellulitis

Your doctor can diagnose this condition through a series of tests such as:

  • Blood test
  • X-ray of the sinuses
  • CT scan
  • Culture of drainage from the eyes
  • Spinal tap
  • Throat culture

Treatment of Orbital Cellulitis

Orbital cellulitis is a serious medical condition requiring immediate attention and treatment in a hospital. Hospital treatment for orbital cellulitis may include:

  • Intravenous administration of antibiotics
  • Surgery to drain the abscess behind the orbit of the eye to relieve pressure

Treatment for the patient will be determined by the patient's age, overall health and the severity of condition.

Complications of Orbital Cellulitis

If left untreated, orbital cellulitis can lead to the following:

  • Meningitis
  • Loss of vision
  • Abscess on the brain
  • Loss of hearing
  • Infection of the blood

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Call Us Today:

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Wednesday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday: 11:00am - 7:00pm
Friday: 8:30am - 2:00pm

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