What is cellulitis?
Cellulitis is an infection or inflammation of the eyelid skin and/or the eye socket (orbit).
What is preseptal cellulitis?
Preseptal cellulitis is an infection or inflammation of the eyelid skin that does not extend beyond the orbital septum into the orbit.
What is orbital cellulitis?
Orbital cellulitis is an infection or inflammation of the orbit. Since the orbit has direct communications with the sinuses, infection can spread into the orbit in a patient with a sinus infection. Orbital cellulitis is much more serious than preseseptal cellulitis.
What are the differences in the signs and symptoms of preseptal and orbital cellulitis?
It can be very difficult to distinguish between preseptal and orbital cellulitis, even for a doctor. In both conditions, the eyelids appear red and swollen; however, in patients with preseptal cellulitis the eyes move normally and are positioned normally in the eye socket. With orbital cellulitis, there can be restriction of eye movements, and the eye might appear to be protruding more than is normal. With orbital cellulitis there is sometimes a decrease in vision and pupil reaction that is not usually seen in preseptal cellulitis.
What causes preseptal cellulitis?
The swelling/redness results from infection or inflammation. Causes include: Sinusitis, Local spread of infection from other nearby sites, Spread of infection from blood, Insect bite, Allergic reaction.
How is preseptal cellulitis evaluated?
A history and physical is performed. Blood may be tested for signs of infection. An imaging study (CT scan or MRI) may be obtained to evaluate for spread beyond the septum into the orbit.
How is cellulitis treated?
Antibiotics are used if an infection is suspected. Typically antibiotics are given by mouth or by an injection, but IV medications are sometimes used. Cool compresses and antihistamines are used to treat allergy or an insect bite..