“There are several facts about orbital cellulitis that parents need to know. Starting from the symptoms felt, to the treatment and prevention that needs to be done.”
Halodoc, Jakarta – Children are indeed more susceptible to disease when compared to adults. This is because their immune system is not yet fully developed. As a result, infection with microorganisms such as viruses or bacteria is difficult for children’s bodies to eradicate.
Well, one of the infections caused by microorganisms that are often experienced by children is orbital cellulitis. Orbital cellulitis is an eye disease that cannot be underestimated. Without proper treatment, orbital cellulitis can be fatal.
Also read: Eye Disorders in Children and How to Overcome Them
General Definition of Orbital Cellulitis
According to the book entitled Orbital Cellulitis (2022), orbital cellulitis is defined as a serious infection involving the muscles and fat located inside the eye orbit. This condition is also sometimes called postseptal cellulitis.
Although orbital cellulitis can occur at any age, it is more common in the pediatric population. The organisms causing orbital cellulitis are generally bacteria but can also be polymicrobial, often including aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and even fungi or mycobacteria.
Recognize the Symptoms of Orbital Cellulitis
The symptoms of orbital cellulitis in children will vary. However, an important characteristic symptom of orbital cellulitis is the presence of ophthalmoplegia (weakness or paralysis of the eye muscles).
In addition, common symptoms of periorbital cellulitis that appear suddenly include:
- Protruding eyes, which may be severe, are also called proptosis.
- Pain in or around the eye.
- Swelling in the eye area.
- Shiny, red or purple eyelids.
- Inability to open eyes
- Difficulty moving the eyes and pain when moving the eyes.
- Double vision.
- Loss of vision or visual impairment.
- Discharge from the eyes or nose.
- Fever, generally 38.8 degrees Celsius or higher.
Causes of Orbital Cellulitis
Bacterial species infection Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus is the most common type of bacteria that causes this disease. However, other strains of bacteria and fungi can cause orbital cellulitis.
Meanwhile, in children aged 9 years and under, this disease is usually caused by one type of bacteria. In older children and adults, these infections can be caused by several types of bacteria together, making them more difficult to treat.
It should be noted that bacteria can enter the eye and the surrounding cavity in various ways. The two most common ways an infection gets into the eye include:
- traumatized: Direct trauma to the eye can cause infection from bacteria.
- Deployment from other areas: Most often, the infection starts in the sinuses. Sinuses are cavities or air-filled sacs that are near the nasal passages.
Also read: 6 Steps to Overcome Rubbing in Children’s Eyes
Beware of Complications of Orbital Cellulitis
If left untreated, orbital cellulitis can cause complications, including:
- Meningitis (infection of the outer parts of the brain and spinal cord).
- Loss of sight.
- Increased risk of developing a brain abscess (with possible permanent neurologic deficits).
- Hearing disorders.
- Septicemia or blood infection.
However, the thing that needs to be underlined is that the risk of complications from this disease can be reduced by handling the problem quickly and accurately. Therefore, early diagnosis is important when a child begins to experience some of the symptoms of orbital cellulitis.
Tests to Diagnose Orbital Cellulitis
Diagnosis is usually based on a complete medical history and physical examination of the child. In addition, a pediatrician or eye specialist will recommend carrying out supporting examinations, such as:
- Blood test. Performed to detect and identify the type of bacteria that might infect.
- X-rays. This diagnostic test uses a beam of electromagnetic energy to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
- Computed tomography scan or CT scan. A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images of the body.
- Drainage culture from eye. This is done by taking a sample from the inner surface of the eyelid and fornix of the eye.
Treatment of Orbital Cellulitis
In most cases of orbital cellulitis, the sufferer requires hospitalization at home. Treatment most often includes antibiotics given intravenously. In children, treatment for periorbital cellulitis usually includes oral antibiotics. In addition, constant monitoring by a pediatrician is necessary.
In some cases, surgical drainage of the sinuses or eye abscess as a operative procedure is sometimes necessary, if the condition of orbital cellulitis in children is severe. In addition, surgery may also be performed to drain the abscess or reduce pressure in the space around the eye.
Also read: 4 Ways to Take Care of Children’s Eye Health
Attempts to Prevent Orbital Cellulitis
Vaccine haemophilus influenzae Scheduled type B (HiB) prevents infection in most children. Also, if your child has a sinus infection, prompt treatment can prevent it from spreading and developing into orbital cellulitis. On the other hand, children also need to avoid activities that are prone to physical contact because they have the potential to cause trauma.
Those are some facts about orbital cellulitis that can affect children. Apart from this page, various information about other childhood diseases can be seen on the page theAsianparent Indonesia. Also get other interesting and complete information about pregnancy, child health, and family in the application theAsianparent Indonesia.
NIH. Retrieved 2022. Orbital Cellulitis.
Mount Sinai.org. Retrieved 2022. Orbital cellulitis.
Boston Children’s Hospital. Retrieved 2022. What are orbital cellulitis and periorbital cellulitis?
Emedicine Medscape. Retrieved 2022. Orbital Cellulitis.
Healthline. Retrieved 2022. What to Know About Orbital Cellulitis.