Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care

Eye Center & Medical Aesthetics Center located in Lake City, FL & Live Oak, FL

Some forms of cellulitis can be dangerous if proper medical care isn’t promptly received. The optometrists and vision specialists of Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care in Lake City, Live Oak, and Gainesville, Florida, have experience and knowledge diagnosing and treating different forms of cellulitis and eye infections. The team always works with empathy and efficiency to provide the highest standard of medical care. Call Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care if you have concerns.

Cellulitis Q & A

What is cellulitis?

Cellulitis refers to inflammation of the soft tissues, usually due to an infection. Both preseptal and orbital cellulitis are infections of the soft tissues in the socket, also known as the orbit, that surrounds your eye.

Orbital cellulitis

Orbital cellulitis is an infection of the tissue within the orbit and behind and around your eye. Orbital cellulitis can result in a generalized infection that can be a life-threatening emergency.

Preseptal cellulitis

Preseptal cellulitis happens outside a part of your skull called the orbital septum. Preseptal cellulitis is an infection of your eyelid or the skin around your eyes, and it doesn’t usually affect your vision.

Preseptal cellulitis is typically milder.

What are the symptoms of cellulitis?

The symptoms of preseptal cellulitis include:

  • Red eye
  • Eye swelling
  • Red and tender skin around the eye area

The symptoms of orbital cellulitis include:

  • Eye pain
  • Eye swelling
  • Red eye
  • Fever
  • A bulging eye
  • Impaired vision
  • Impaired eye movements

Orbital cellulitis and preseptal cellulitis are more prevalent in children, but they can occur at any age.

What causes cellulitis?

Cellulitis can happen following sinusitis, a cold, an infection of the eyelid (stye), an infection of the tear drainage channels, or recent surgery or an injury near the eye. An insect bite or sting or an animal bite or some other wound to the eyelids can also cause infection to spread and lead to cellulitis.

Orbital cellulitis is usually caused by the spread of an infection from the sinuses, the teeth, or the bloodstream.

What are the complications of cellulitis?

Preseptal cellulitis is usually mild and doesn’t lead to complications or affect vision. Orbital cellulitis can lead to blindness and severe illness if it isn’t properly treated.

Infection can spread to your brain (meningitis) and your spinal cord. In some cases, blood clots can form and spread from the veins around your eye to a larger vein at the base of your brain.

What are the treatments for cellulitis?

There are certain medications to treat cellulitis, such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, to lower inflammation and fight off infection.

Surgery might be necessary in some cases to remove a foreign body from your eye, to drain a collection of pus (abscess) or an infected nasal sinus, or to help treat the infection if antibiotics aren’t sufficient. Severe orbital cellulitis might warrant a trip to the hospital.

To learn more about cellulitis or to seek prompt medical treatment, call Columbia Eye Associates & Family Focus Eye Care.