Preseptal cellulitis is a bacterial infection that commonly affects children. Left untreated, the condition can impact your child's vision. To help protect your child's vision, here is what you need to know about preseptal cellulitis.
What Is Preseptal Cellulitis?
Preseptal cellulitis is an infection of the eyelid. The infection is most likely the result of exposure to bacteria, such as staphylococcus. The bacteria usually enters the eyelid through a scratch. Another infection or minor injury can sometimes lead to the development of preseptal cellulitis.
Preseptal cellulitis is characterized by swelling and redness of the eye. Your child might also experience some pain and a fever. If left untreated, permanent vision problems can result. However, the infection is easily treated once it is detected.
What Is the Treatment?
If your child is showing any signs of preseptal cellulitis, it is important to have him or her evaluated as soon as possible. Once a diagnosis is made, the doctor can recommend oral antibiotics to help clear the infection. Your child will be carefully monitored to ensure the antibiotics are effectively clearing the infection.
You also need to have your child evaluated by an eye doctor once the antibiotics are completed. The eye doctor can ensure that the infection did not have any impact on your child's vision. The eye doctor can also ensure that other tissues surrounding the infected eye was not impacted.
Orbital cellulitis, a more serious condition, can sometimes develop from preseptal cellulitis. If your child's symptoms worsen or he or she has trouble with eye movements, seek medical treatment immediately.
How Can You Prevent the Infection in the Future?
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your child's eyes from developing the infection again in the future is to have him or her vaccinated with both the Hib and pneumococcal vaccines. Both vaccines can help prevent the growth of the bacteria that causes preseptal cellulitis.
You also need to be vigilant about other infections that your child might have. Other infections can spread to your child's eyes and cause preseptal cellulitis to reoccur. If your child has a sinus or dental infection, seek treatment. If your child is prescribed antibiotics, be sure to give him or her all of the medication and not stop when your child is feeling better.
Consult with your eye doctor about any concerns you might have about your child's eye condition. He or she can work with your pediatrician to protect your child's eye health.
For more information, contact Master Eye Associates or a similar organization.