Symptoms and treatment of orbital cellulitis


The orbital cellulitis is a type of eye infection. This infection is usually acute and can spread to various areas of the eye such as the eyelids, cheekbones or eyebrows. the problems can be very long in time if it is not acted quickly, with an effective treatment. The pathology (which has nothing to do with infectious cellulitis or orange peel skin) occurs in both adults and children, and is mainly caused by streptococci or staphylococci. There are quite a few symptoms that show up during orbital cellulitis, such as bulging eyes or general malaise.

In this article we will tell you all the information related to orbital cellulitis, treatments in adults and children, the causes and symptoms, prevention, and its differences with the periorbital.

Treatment of orbital cellulitis in adults

Usually, the patient is admitted until he has healed. The main treatment for orbital cellulitis is the administration of antibiotics against the microorganism in question, which is given to the patient intravenously. In more extreme cases, surgeries are performed to avoid loss of vision. As it is a pathology that develops in a very short time, at the slightest suspicion you have to go to the emergency room or contact your doctor, as it could affect the optic nerve.

In children

It should be noted that in children the development of the pathology is very rare, due to the existence of a vaccine as you will see below. However, in the event that you start to suffer from it, it is highly recommended that you go quickly to the doctor since the c. orbital progresses faster than in adults, and could cause blindness in extreme cases.

What causes and symptoms does it present?

Orbital cellulitis is caused by different types of microorganisms, be they bacteria or viruses. For example, decades ago, this pathology could appear in children as a result of a sinus infection, which was caused by the species Haemophilus influenzae. Today, it is very rare to see it as there is a vaccine called HiB. Other species of microorganisms that can be the cause of the appearance of this disease are Streptocuccus pneumoniae or Staphylococcus aureus. All of them may be responsible for you suffering from this type of infectious cellulitis.

Regarding the picture of symptoms that is shown in orbital cellulitis, we have the following:

  • General discomfort.
  • Bulging eyes.
  • Inflammation, irritation, redness around the eyes, on the eyelids or on the cheekbones.
  • Worsening of vision
  • Febrile states that can exceed 39 ºC in body temperature.
  • Difficulty in moving the eyes.


To diagnose and confirm orbital cellulitis, different tests are performed in the laboratory, such as blood cultures, blood counts, or even a spinal tap in children that has advanced rapidly. There are more microbiological cultures that can be practiced, the realization of x-rays, or a tomography in the ocular orbit.

Doubts may arise if you are in a feverish state due to infection and your eyelids are inflamed.

What is the difference between orbital and periorbital cellulite?

The orbital is also known as post septal, while the periorbital is known as preseptal. Symptoms and treatment are often different. At the “home” level it is difficult to differentiate them, however a specialist can do it without any kind of difficulty.


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