Eye issues: What is periorbital cellulitis?

Periorbital cellulitis involves infection of the tissues surrounding the eye. This infection can be triggered by minor trauma to the area bordering the eye such as an insect bite or due to another infection particularly sinusitis.

The condition is characterized by sore swelling and redness of the eyelid as well as the skin bordering the eyes. It is quite common among children than adults. Periorbital cellulitis usually improves if it is treated early especially with the use of antibiotics and close monitoring. Nevertheless, it can be problematic if not promptly treated particularly if the eye socket is involved.

Indications of periorbital cellulitis

The indications of periorbital cellulitis might include the following:

  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Redness of the area bordering the eyelid
  • Swollen skin around the eye

The condition does not usually lead to pain in the eye or visual issues.

Periorbital cellulitis

The condition is characterized by sore swelling and redness of the eyelid as well as the skin bordering the eyes.

What are the causes?

Periorbital cellulitis is triggered by a bacterial infection. This infection might progress after sustaining damage to the skin such as a scrape or an insect bite or sting around the eye. These trivial injuries enable the bacteria to access the wound and trigger the development of infection. The bacteria can also spread to the eye after a sinus infection or another upper respiratory infection.

Common bacterial causes of periorbital cellulitis include:

Remember that children are likely to become infected with these bacteria than adults. This is the reason why cellulitis typically affects children.


Adults and older children can be treated using oral antibiotics such as dicloxacillin and amoxicillin. It is vital to finish the prescribed course and carefully follow the instructions given by the doctor.

Children below 4 years old should be taken to a healthcare facility so that antibiotics are administered intravenously. These antibiotics are given via a vein in the arm. At home, a warm compress can be used to minimize the inflammation.

An eye specialist should be consulted if the case is severe or if orbital cellulitis develops. The condition is managed using antibiotics that are administered via an IV. The individual has to stay in the hospital during treatment since close monitoring is required to guarantee that the infection will not worsen. In some circumstances, surgery might also be needed to alleviate any pressure that builds up within or around the affected eye.



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