Search Encyclopedia:    
List of Topics Print This Page
 

Periorbital cellulitis


Definition:

Periorbital cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid or skin around the eye.

Alternative Names:

Preseptal cellulitis

Causes:

Periorbital cellulitis commonly affects children under 18 months old.

This infection can occur after a scratch, injury, or bug bite around the eye, which allows germs to enter the wound. Or it can extend from a nearby site that is infected, such as the sinuses.

Symptoms:

Symptoms include:

  • Redness around the eye or in the white part of the eye
  • Swelling of the eyelid, whites of eyes, and surrounding area

This condition does not usually affect vision or cause eye pain.

Exams and Tests:

The health care provider will examine the eye and ask about symptoms.

Tests that may be ordered include:

Treatment:

Antibiotics will be prescribed. They are usually taken by mouth. Or they may also be given as shots (injection).

Outlook (Prognosis):

Periorbital cellulitis almost always improves with treatment. In rare cases, the infection spreads into the eye socket, the tissues that surround the eye, and the eyeball itself. This infection is called orbital cellulitis.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Call your doctor right away if:

  • The eye becomes red or swollen
  • Symptoms get worse after treatment
  • Fever develops along with eye symptoms
  • It is difficult or painful to move the eye
  • The eye looks like it is sticking (bulging) out
  • There are vision changes

 

References:

Wald ER. Periorbital and orbital infections. In: Long SS, ed. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2012:chap 87.

Olitsky SE, Hug D, Plummer LS, Stass-Isern M. Orbital infections. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, et al., eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 626.


Review Date: 11/20/2013
Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

   View History
  Periorbital cellulitis

   
   

 

About UPHS   Contact Us   Site Map   Privacy Statement   Legal Disclaimer   Terms of Use

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA 1-800-789-PENN © 2014, The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania