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Orbital cellulitis is an emergency. It may cause blindness and progress to life-threatening sequelae such as brain abscess, meningitis and cavernous sinus thrombosis. Successful management is dependent upon urgent referral and immediate treatment. Although isolated eyelid erythema and swelling usually indicate primary infection anterior to the orbital septum, they may also be the first signs of an underlying frontal or ethmoidal sinusitis. The condition always requires emergency referral to both an ophthalmologist and otorhinolaryngologist.