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Cellulitis of the Eye

What are orbital cellulitis and pre-septal cellulitis?

These conditions refer to an inflammation and infection of the tissue and skin that surround the eye. They are serious infections that involve the eye and the structures around the eye. Pre-septal cellulitis involves the area from the skin of the eyelid to the bony area that encloses the eye. Orbital cellulitis is an infection that involves the eye and the eye structures within the bony cavity of the face. Both of these conditions are serious and require immediate medical attention by your child's physician.

What causes pre-septal/orbital cellulitis?

The most common cause of these types of cellulitis is from an infection with bacteria. The following are the bacteria that are usually involved:

The bacteria gets into the eye and the surrounding cavity many different ways. The two most common ways the infection gets into the eye include the following:

What are the symptoms of pre-septal cellulitis?

The following are the most common symptoms of pre-septal cellulitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms appear abruptly and may include:

The eyeball is often not affected and appears normal.

What are the symptoms of orbital cellulitis?

The following are the most common symptoms of orbital cellulitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms appear slowly and may include:

The symptoms of pre-septal/orbital cellulitis may resemble other eye conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How are pre-septal/orbital cellulitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis is usually based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. In addition, your child's physician may order the following tests to help confirm the diagnosis:

Treatment of pre-septal cellulitis:

Specific treatment for pre-septal cellulitis will be determined by your child's physician based on:

Treatment will usually include oral antibiotics. Close follow up with your child's physician is necessary for constant monitoring.

Treatment of orbital cellulitis:

Specific treatment for orbital cellulitis will be determined by your child's physician based on:

Orbital cellulitis is a serious condition and must be treated promptly. Treatment may include:

What are possible complications from pre-septal/orbital cellulitis?

The risk of complications may be reduced with prompt and accurate treatment of the problem. The following are some of the more common complications that may occur:

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