Periorbital cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid or skin around the eye.
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.
This condition does not usually affect vision or cause eye pain.
The health care provider will examine the eye and ask about symptoms.
Tests that may be ordered include:
Antibiotics will be prescribed. They are usually taken by mouth. Or they may also be given as shots (injection).
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.
Call your doctor right away if:
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.
Updated 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.
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