Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What Is Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis?

Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis is a pathological condition characterized by infection around the eyes. This infection may be caused due to a minor trauma or injury to the area around the eyes. The most common cause of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis is insect bite around the eye region. An infection of the sinuses tends to also result in the development of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis.

The primary presenting feature of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis is redness and swelling of the eyelid and the skin surrounding the eyes. Eyelid Cellulitis is seen more in children than adult population. This condition tends to respond favorably to treatment if diagnosed early. Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis.

Complications tend to occur in cases where treatment is not done for Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis as the infection may spread deep within the eyes it may impair the vision of the affected individual and may even result in permanent blindness. Thus it is highly recommended to treat this condition as early as possible to prevent any unforeseen and serious complications.

What Is Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis?

What Causes Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis?

Eyelid Cellulitis (Preseptal Cellulitis) is primarily a bacterial infection which usually develops after a skin injury such as a cut or an abrasion or in some cases an insect bite in and around the eye region. These injuries cause the offending bacteria to infiltrate the area and cause an infection. In case if the affected individual has a sinus issue or already has an infection then the spread of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis is much more rapid.

Impetigo which is an extremely contagious skin infection is also something that might develop as a result of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis. The bacteria responsible for development of this condition are:

  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus

These bacteria affect children more than the adult population and that is precisely the reason why children are more affected than adults from Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis.

What Are The Symptoms Of Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis?

Some of the symptoms of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis are:

  • Redness around the eyelids along with swelling and irritation
  • Swelling of the skin around the eyes

In some cases there might be pain around the site of the infection but such cases are extremely rare. Vision is something which is not affected by Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis unless the condition is left untreated and leads to spread of the infection to deep within the eyes.

How Is Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis can be made by taking a detailed medical history of the patient and by performing a physical examination where a careful inspection of the affected area will reveal inflammation.

The physician will also look for any signs of spread of the infection based on the symptoms described by the patient. The physician will also inquire as to a history of any trauma or injury to the eye or any history of an insect bite.

A blood test will then be performed to confirm the presence of an infection and if the offending bacteria are found then the diagnosis of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis is confirmed.

The physician may also order advanced imaging studies in the form of CT or MRI scan to investigate whether there has been any spread of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis.

How Is Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis Treated?

Oral antibiotics are the front line treatment of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis for children above 12 years of age and adults. It is highly recommended to complete the course of antibiotics even if the symptoms improve so as to prevent any recurrence of this condition.

In case if an infant is infected by Eyelid Cellulitis then he or she may have to be treated in an inpatient setting where intravenous antibiotics will be given and the child will be monitored closely.

In case if there is a spread of the infection then a referral to an ophthalmologist will be given for treatment of the infection and prevent any further complications from Preseptal Cellulitis.

In cases of the infection spreading, the patient will have to be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics until the infection completely clears up. If there is any build up of pressure around the eye region, then surgery may be required to relieve the pressure and treat Eyelid Cellulitis.

Prognosis Of Eyelid Cellulitis Or Preseptal Cellulitis

The overall prognosis for individuals with Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis is generally quite good provided the diagnosis is made early and the treatment is started immediately. In case if the condition is left untreated then it may spread to encompass the deeper structures of the eyes and may cause temporary or permanent blindness.

It is also highly recommended that individuals who tend to use eye makeup or contact lenses change their make up kit and contact lenses that were used before the infection to new ones as the old ones may be contaminated with bacteria and may result in recurrence of Eyelid Cellulitis or Preseptal Cellulitis.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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