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Ocular cellulitis, also called orbital cellulitis, is an inflammation or infection that is located in the cavity of the face where the eye and its attachments are inserted, such as muscles, nerves, blood vessels and lacrimal apparatus, and can reach the its orbital (septal), innermost, or periorbital part, in the region of the eyelids.
This type of problem usually causes symptoms such as pain, swelling and difficulty moving the eye, and is mainly caused by infections that can arise from a blow near the eye or the presence of another infection in a nearby region, as happens in sinusitis, conjunctivitis or dental abscess, for example.
Although eye cellulitis is more common in babies and children due to the greater delicacy of the structures that surround the eye, it can happen at any age, especially if the immune system is compromised.Treatment should be done as soon as possible, with antibiotics in the vein and, if necessary, with surgery to remove the secretion and severely affected tissues, preventing the infection from spreading to deeper regions, and even reaching the brain..
The most characteristic symptoms of an eye cellulitis include:
- Intense swelling of the eyelids;
- Redness in the eye;
- Pain and difficulty moving the eye;
- Changing the view.
As the infection worsens, if not treated quickly, it can become severe and reach neighboring regions and cause complications such as orbit abscess, meningitis, loss of vision due to optic nerve involvement, and even infection widespread and death.
How to confirm the diagnosis
To diagnose eye cellulitis, the ophthalmologist will observe the main signs and symptoms, but may also order tests such as blood count and blood culture, to identify the degree of infection and the microorganism, in addition to computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the orbits and face, to identify the extent of the lesion and exclude other possible causes.
Check out other main causes of eye puffiness.
Possible causes of cellulite
This infection occurs when a microorganism reaches the eye region, mainly through the enlargement of a neighboring infection, such as:
- Injury in the eye region;
- Insect bite;
- Tooth abscess;
- Other upper airway, skin, or tear duct infections.
The microorganisms responsible for the infection depend on the person's age, he alth status and previous infection, the main ones being Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Moraxella catarrhalis.
How the treatment is done
To treat cellulitis in the eye, it is necessary to receive antibiotics in the vein, such as Ceftriaxone, Vancomycin or Amoxicillin/Clavulonate, for example, for about 3 days, and continue the treatment with oral antibiotics at home, complementing a total of 8 to 20 days of treatment, which varies according to the severity of the infection and whether there are other associated infections, such as sinusitis.
It is also necessary to use analgesic and antipyretic drugs to relieve pain and fever. In addition, drainage surgery may be indicated in cases of orbital abscess, optic nerve compression or when there is no improvement after the initial treatment.