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Periorbital cellulitis


Alternative names

Preseptal cellulitis

Definition

Periorbital cellulitis is an infection of the tissues surrounding the eye. It can be the result of minor trauma to the area around the eye, or it may be the extension of another site of infection, such as sinusitis.

There is generally redness and swelling of the eyelid and the surrounding area, but unlike orbital cellulitis (a more extensive infection involving deeper tissue), periorbital cellulitis does not cause protrusion of the eyeball (proptosis) or limit its movements. Periorbital cellulitis is most common in children under six years of age.

However, periorbital cellulitis may progress to orbital cellulitis or meningitis if untreated. It is important to consult a physician immediately if you think that you or your child may have periorbital cellulitis.

Update Date: 11/4/2003

John Goldenring, M.D., MPH, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network

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