March 12, 2008 | rjlever | Comments 0

Preseptal Cellulitis

Presiptal cellulitis, also known as periorbital cellulitis, is a condition in which the areas surrounding the eye (particularly the eyelid) are infected. The onset of the condition often starts with mild symptoms and can be similar to the symptoms found in other forms of eye infections or irritation. However, severe cases usually have more distinct symptoms and can be diagnosed properly by a healthcare specialist. Let’s get to know preseptal cellulitis by familiarizing ourselves with its typical symptoms, how to tell the condition from other similar and/or separate conditions, and its prevalence.

What Starts The Infection?

The main cause or determinant of preseptal cellulitis is the staphylococcus, streptococcus, or Hemophilus influenza (most of the time in children). Other factors that can cause or trigger infection include lacerations, localized infectious processes, open wounds, and foreign bodies retained in the later-affected area.

How Do I Know If I Have Preseptal Cellulitis?

Since preseptal cellulitis affects the eye, one should be concerned just as when any other infection or irritation affects the eye. Red and tender eyelids and a mild fever often characterize the typical symptoms of the condition. In worse cases, the affected eyelid can become swollen, and sometimes so swollen that the eye is unable to open. Aside from those symptoms, preseptal cellulitis carries the typical symptoms of cellulitis in general, which are swelling, itchiness, redness, and some degree of pain.

How Can I Tell Between Preseptal Cellulitis And Other Similar Conditions?

The more difficult part of determining preseptal cellulitis is that its symptoms can be shared by the symptoms of other health conditions like severe allergic reactions (where the eye also swells up) and pink eye (although diagnosis is always helpful). Basically, inflammation associated with the condition is analyzed by severity and location.

Preseptal cellulitis should not be mistaken as orbital cellulitis. Orbital cellulitis involves infections that occur or have progressed to the eyeball itself or the eye socket. Preseptal cellulitis is mainly characterized by the infection of tissue surrounding the eyelids. When it worsens, the infection may spread and develop orbital and subperiosteal abscesses. Further infection can cause meningitis or cavernous sinus thrombosis.

Moreover, you may experience conditions that will bring your further from suspicion of preseptal cellulitis. These conditions generally precede preseptal cellulitis, and these include paranasal sinusitis and upper respiratory tract infections.

How Can I Be Sure About The Condition?

Getting a proper diagnosis should always be your first decision if you are suspecting infection. Normally a diagnosis for cellulitis involves your doctor analyzing your medical history, conducting physical exams, and performing blood tests. Your doctor may ask when you first noticed you weren’t feeling well or were experiencing discomfort. Preseptal cellulitis does not always display obvious symptoms in the initial stages of the infection. In fact, symptoms can manifest as a completely different condition such as sinus problems. Worse cases of cellulitis may require a CT or MRI scan.

Anyone can develop preseptal cellulitis. There is no known association between the condition and age, sex, or race. The risk of getting infected is generally higher during winter, as sinus problems easily arise during this time.

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