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Orbital cellulitis is inflammation of the soft tissue of the orbit (the bony socket in the skull that contains the eyeball). The condition usually occurs when bacteria from a sinus infection, from a penetrating injury to the orbit, or from a boil spread and infect the orbit. There is a risk that the infection could spread to the brain and cause an abscess (a pus-filled cavity surrounded by inflamed tissue) or meningitis, a potentially life-threatening infection of the meninges (the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord).


Treatment of orbital cellulitis consists of high doses of antibiotics given intravenously (through a vein). If infected sinuses are causing the problem, the doctor may recommend surgery to drain the sinuses. If the infection causes abscesses (pockets of pus) to form in the orbit, the ophthalmologist may recommend surgery to drain the pus from the abscesses.

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