Orbital cellulitis is an
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Orbital cellulitis is a dangerous infection with potentially serious complications.
Bacteria from a sinus infection (often Haemophilus influenzae) usually cause this condition in children. Orbital cellulitis due to this bacteria used to be much more common in young children up to age 6 – 7. However, such infection is now rare because of 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. Immediate medical attention is needed.
Symptoms of orbital cellulitis may include:
Painful swelling of upper and lower eyelid, and possibly the eyebrow and cheek
Eye pain, especially when moving the eye
Fever, generally 102 degrees F or higher
General ill feeling
Painful or difficult eye movements
Shiny, red or purple eyelid
Signs and tests
Tests commonly include:
CBC(complete blood count) Blood culture Spinal tapin extremely sick children
Other tests may include:
X-ray of the sinusesand surrounding area CT scan or MRI of the sinuses and orbit
- Culture of eye and nose drainage
The patient usually needs to stay in the hospital. Treatment includes antibiotics given through a vein. Surgery may be needed to drain the
An orbital cellulitis infection can get worse very quickly. The patient must be carefully checked every few hours.
With prompt treatment, the person can make a complete recovery.
Cavernous sinus thrombosis Hearing loss Septicemiaor blood infection Meningitis
- Optic nerve damage and
loss of vision
Calling your health care provider
Orbital cellulitis is an emergency that requires immediate treatment. Call your health care provider if there are signs of eyelid swelling, especially with a fever.
Receiving the HiB vaccine according to recommended schedules generally will prevent most haemophilus infections in children. Young children in the same household who have been exposed to this bacteria may receive antibiotics to prevent getting sick.
Proper detection and early treatment of sinus, dental, or other infections may prevent the spread of infection to the eyes.