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Definition

Periorbital cellulitis is a serious but treatable infection of the tissues around the eye. It usually affects only one eye and doesn't travel to the other. There is generally redness and swelling of the eyelid and the surrounding area, but unlike orbital cellulitis (a more extensive infection involving deeper tissue), periorbital cellulitis does not cause protrusion of the eyeball (proptosis) or limit its movements. Periorbital cellulitis is most common in children under six years of age.

eriorbital cellulitis, which accounts for 85–90% of all ocular cellulitis, usually occurs in children under the age of five. Responsible for the remaining 10–15% of these infections, orbital cellulitis is most common in children over the age of five.

Causes

Periorbital Cellulitis is usually the result of a break in the skin that allows bacteria to invade the subcutaneous tissues.  In rare cases, it can result from passage of bacteria from the blood to the skin.
Periorbital cellulitis risk factors include:

  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Eye trauma
  • Insect bites.

Symptoms

There is generally redness and swelling of the eyelid and the surrounding area, but unlike orbital cellulitis (a more extensive infection involving deeper tissue), periorbital cellulitis does not cause protrusion of the eyeball or limit its movements.
Other symptoms of orbital cellulitis include:

  • bulging or displacement of the eyeball (proptosis).
  • Chemosis (swelling of the mucous membrane of the eyeball and eyelid as a result of infection, injury, or systemic disorders like anemia or kidney disease).
  • diminished ability to see clearly.
  • eye pain.
  • fever.
  • paralysis of nerves that control eye movements (ophthalmoplegia).

Treatment

Even if your child's symptoms start going away, make sure he completes the entire course of antibiotics, or the infection could resurface. In the meantime, the doctor may suggest you give your child acetaminophen to take the edge off any pain and bring down any fever.

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