Orbital cellulitis is an infection within the orbit. It is a serious condition that usually affects children during or after sinusitis. Germs can pass from the sinuses into the orbit and cause infection. Symptoms include: an acute onset of high temperature, pain and redness around the eye with eyelid swelling, and double or a decrease in vision.
This is a very serious condition that can lead to blindness and can even be fatal in children. A swift and accurate assessment is necessary so that treatment can start as soon as possible.
A full ophthalmological examination is carried out including vision tests and assessment of the retina with optic nerve.
Orbital cellulitis is usually easily diagnosed. The symptoms and the look of the periocular area are quite distinct. However, additional tests (blood tests, orbit CT-scan, etc.) are often necessary to rule out other causes of orbital inflammation and decide on a treatment plan.
If orbital cellulitis is confirmed, urgent hospital treatment is necessary. Treatment consists of a high dose of intravenous antibiotics and close monitoring of the visual function and vital signs.
If there is an abscess (build up of pus) within the orbit, the oculoplastic surgeon will perform an operation to drain the pus and clean the inside of the orbit.