This is a retrospective study of 17 patients who were admitted for orbital cellulitis between August 1989 and February 1994. The epidemiology, possible source of infection, the causative organisms and effectiveness of treatment were reviewed. The results showed that one-third of the cases occurred in the first decade of life. Paranasal sinusitis was the main source of infection in 11 (65%) patients. Thirteen patients (76.5%) developed orbital and periocular abscesses requiring surgical drainage. Two out of 17 eyes lost vision despite intensive treatment. Orbital cellulitis is a blinding ocular emergency associated with high morbidity. Immediate treatment is necessary to avoid devastating complications such as optic nerve compression, panophthalmitis or intracranial spread of infections. Cases with abscess formation required early surgical drainage. Combined orbito-otorhinolaryngologic approach is recommended for drainage of orbital abscess with associated paranasal sinus infection.