Periorbital Cellulitis

Periorbital cellulitis (also called preseptal cellulitis) is an infection of the eyelids or skin around the eye. It's most often caused by an infected scratch, insect bite, or a sinus infection. It's generally easily treated with oral antibiotics. Or in some cases, IV (intravenous) antibiotics. If not treated, it may infect the deeper tissues around the eye. This can cause more serious illness and lifelong (permanent) changes in vision.

Home care

Take your antibiotics exactly as directed. Take all the medicine until it's gone.

Use pain medicine as prescribed. If no medicine was prescribed, you may use over-the-counter medicine as advised to help with pain and fever. If you have liver disease or ever had a stomach ulcer, talk with your healthcare provider before using these.

Don't give ibuprofen to a child under 6 months of age. Never give aspirin to a child under age 18 years who has a fever or viral illness. It may cause severe illness or death from Reye syndrome.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Swelling or pain around the eye that gets worse

  • Redness that gets worse

  • Changes in vision

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38º C) for more than 2 days while on antibiotics, or as advised by your provider

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