Eyelid Infection or Cellulitis Infection
See which type of eyelid infection is affecting you and what you can do to reduce the symptoms it's causing.
Eyelid infections, or eyelid cellulitis is a common eye disorder among younger people. Older people are susceptible to this condition, however, it’s generally not an issue as one ages, like cataracts or macular degeneration is. There are two types of eyelid cellulitis, and both are more severe than Blepharitis (which usually causes only itching and burning), as the cause swelling of the entire eyelid, making it tender, hot in temperature and red. Occasionally the swelling can extend onto the face and discharge may be present in some cases.
Symptoms of eyelid cellulitis include:
- Swelling of entire eyelid
- Pain with eye movements
- Extension to other parts of face/eye – in severe cases
- Eyelid Pain
- Fever – in severe cases
- Headache – in severe cases
Types of Eyelid Cellulitis
There are two main types of eyelid cellulitis; Preseptal Cellulitis and Orbital Cellulitis. Below we will go over the basics of both, including what they are, differences between the two and what causes each condition.
Preseptal Cellulitis: Preseptal cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid, induced by bacteria. It’s the basic, more common form of eyelid cellulitis, as it surrounds the skin anterior to the orbial septum. It’s caused by the contiguous spread of an infection due to local facial or eyelid trauma, insect or animal bites, conjunctivitis, chalazion or sinusitis.
Orbital Cellulitis: This form of eyelid cellulitis is much more severe than preseptal cellulitis. It’s when the infection extends beyond the eyelid and into the back of the eye. It’s very serious and causes eye protrusion and double vision. It’s caused by an extension of an infection in places such as the eyelid, teeth, sinuses and face.
Medical research within the field of cellulitis and preseptal cellulitis has shown that individuals with particular factors are more prone to develop preseptal cellulitis. It’s important that you as a patient knows the difference between the two types of eyelid cellulitis, and what to watch for. This condition can turn from mild to severe quickly, so if you are unsure, or if you feel your symptoms are worsening quickly you may want to contact an ophthalmologist, or get a referral from your regular health care provider to find a good ophthalmologist in your area.
Treatment for Eyelid Cellulitis
There aren’t many different treatments one can do at home, other than try using warm compresses on the eyelid or face, avoiding touching or rubbing and relaxing until medical attention can be sought after. Eyelid cellulitis is treated medically by either oral antibiotics or IV antibiotics, and the continuous watch to ensure the infection doesn’t spread. If a patient is suffering from orbital cellulitis, surgery to decompress the orbit, drain an abscess, and/or open infected sinuses may be necessary.