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Orbital cellulitis

  • Definition

    Orbital cellulitis is an acute infection of the tissues immediately surrounding the eye, including the eyelids, eyebrow, and cheek.


    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.

    Other causes include a stye on the eyelid, bug bites, or a recent eyelid injury.

    Orbital cellulitis infections in children may get worse very quickly and can lead to blindness. Immediate medical attention is needed.