Periorbital cellulitis affects the tissues around the eye and is most common in children. This version of cellulitis is often caused by trauma or damage to the eye, but it can be a byproduct of certain infections like sinusitis as well. Symptoms include redness, tenderness and swelling on and around the eyelid. Movement of the eye is not affected, and periorbital cellulitis generally is not serious. Treatment typically involves the use of oral antibiotics.
Orbital cellulitis is less common than the periorbital infection, and there is more danger of it spreading to the brain. It affects the tissues on and near the eye and can be caused by injury to the eye. Symptoms include pain, discomfort or inflammation of the eyelid and the surrounding area. The eye may bulge or have limited movement. Vision may decrease, and a fever may be present. Treatment includes intravenous antibiotics, and surgery may be required to drain the affected area.
Cellulitis is typically caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria. While cellulitis is not contagious, the bacteria that cause the infection can be passed from person to person. Cellulitis can worsen rapidly, but it is a treatable condition. If it is left untreated, the spreading bacterial infection can create a life-threatening situation. It is important to contact a health care professional if cellulitis signs appear.