Orbital infections and inflammations

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Orbital infections and inflammations present to the clinician with similar findings: periorbital edema, erythema, proptosis, and pain. History and clinical examination determine the workup required to better define the disease process. Orbital infections continue to be associated primarily with diseases of the paranasal sinuses. Haemophilus influenza type B is no longer a significant pathogen, because of an effective vaccine. Fungal infections extending to the orbit are becoming more frequent due to the prevalence of immunocompromised patients. Orbital inflammations continue to be poorly understood, and an adequate classification scheme does not exist. Corticosteroids continue to be the preferred initial treatment, with the roles of radiation and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications to be determined. Specific causes of orbital inflammation such as Wegener granulomatosis must be considered to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.

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