To describe 5 patients who presented with eyelid abscesses whose subsequent workup revealed occult sinusitis.
We reviewed the medical records of 5 patients who presented with eyelid abscess. Common presenting signs and symptoms were identified. Successful diagnosis and treatment was accomplished in each case.
All patients were in good general health and did not appear to be systemically ill. Eyelid swelling was the chief presenting complaint of each patient. None of the patients complained of fevers or chills. Each patient had an upper eyelid abscess. Symptoms suggestive of sinusitis included purulent nasal discharge and headache. With appropriate radiologic studies, extensive occult sinusitis was identified in each case. Two patients demonstrated a small defect in the bone between the infected frontal sinus and the eyelid. All patients received intravenous antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics, incision and drainage of the abscess, and, after ENT consultation, functional endoscopic sinus surgery. All patients improved after treatment, and none had permanent visual loss.
Clinical suspicion of sinusitis may be aroused with a thorough history and examination. Radiographic evaluation and prompt treatment of both the eyelid abscess and the sinusitis can result in good outcomes for such patients.