Jaundice in children

Potential causes of acute periorbital edema

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Periorbital edema is characterized by swollen eyelids and the area surrounding the eye. The condition has various causes such as an infection on the face but can also develop as a symptom of kidney disease. Edema is described as swelling triggered by the accumulation of fluid in the tissues or cells.

Periorbital cellulitis

Cellulitis involves infection of the skin and tissue right beneath the skin. When it comes to periorbital cellulitis, it involves infection in the eyelid and surrounding tissue. The infection typically affects young children below 3 years old.

In most cases of periorbital cellulitis, they are triggered by Haemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae but the cases of H. influenza have drastically reduced since children are given vaccinations against the bacteria.

Orbital cellulitis

Periorbital edema
When it comes to periorbital cellulitis, it involves infection in the eyelid and surrounding tissue.

Orbital cellulitis involves infection in the eye socket or orbit. Even though periorbital cellulitis usually affects children, it can still affect individuals of all ages.

Orbital cellulitis is commonly caused by the staphylococcus aureus bacteria that radiates to the socket of the eye from a septic part within the proximity. In most cases, the actual infection affects the sinus specifically the ethmoid. Similar to periorbital cellulitis, the area surrounding the eye is red and swollen but not as severe as periorbital cellulitis.

Cavernous sinus thrombosis

There are 2 cavernous sinuses or spaces at the base of the brain. Some of the veins from the face as well as the brain drain out into these sinuses. An individual can develop thrombosis or a blood clot in the cavernous sinus if he/she developed a facial infection caused by staphylococcus aureus.

Even though rare, it only occurs if a blood clot forms in a facial vein and travels to a cavernous sinus. The outcome is a sinus infection as well as periorbital edema. In most circumstances, the edema affects both eyes.

Post-infectious glomerulonephritis

The inflammation of the glomeruli is medically called glomerulonephritis. These are the capillaries within the kidney. It is important to note that the infection develops among children between 5-15 years old.

Children can end up with this condition after being infected with parasites, fungi, viruses or bacteria. Most cases of infections are triggered by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria which can cause impetigo and pharyngitis.

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