Black eye

An Overview

A black eye, sometimes called a “shiner,” is a bruise around the eye. When an object strikes the eye, the force of the impact breaks delicate blood vessels in the eyelids and surrounding tissues. Blood collects under the skin, and causes black or blue discoloration in the eyelids and around the eye socket. Because the skin around the eye is relatively thin and transparent compared to skin in other parts of the body, the black and blue color of a bruised eye may seem darker and more intense than bruises elsewhere. A black eye is the appearance of bruising around the eyes. It’s usually the result of trauma to the head or face, which causes bleeding beneath the skin. When the small blood vessels, or capillaries, beneath the skin break, blood leaks into the surrounding tissue. This is what causes the discoloration or bruising.

Most black eyes aren’t serious, but they can sometimes be an indicator of a medical emergency such as a skull fracture. Black eye is also referred to as eye bruises and bruising around the eyes.
Like a bruise, as a black eye heals, the swelling around the eye decreases, and the bruise gradually fades.

• The skin around the eye is very loose, with mostly fat underneath, making it an ideal site for fluid to accumulate. The effects of gravity also help to swell this part of the face. This is why many people wake up with puffy eyes in the morning.

• When there is an injury to the face, the skin around the eye is one of the first places to swell. Depending on the location and type of injury, one or both eyes may be affect

Causes of Black eye

The most common cause of a black eye is a blow to the eye, forehead, or nose. Depending on where the blow lands, one or both eyes may be affected. Other causes of a black eye are:

• A blow to the nose often causes both eyes to swell because the swelling from the nasal injury causes fluid to collect in the loose tissues of the eyelids.
• Surgical procedures to the face, such as;
• a facelift,
• jaw surgery, and
• nose surgery.
• A certain type of head injury, called a basilar skull fracture, causes both eyes to swell and blacken. This condition is typically described as “raccoon’s eyes.

Symptoms for Black Eye

A black eye causes swelling and black-and-blue discoloration of the eyelids and soft tissues around the eye.
Sometimes, trauma that results in a black eye also causes small areas of bleeding on the white of the eye and on the inner lining of the eyelids. If you have bright-red or dark-red discoloration of your eyeball, you have another problem. This discoloration most likely is caused by a condition called a sub conjunctiva hemorrhage, which means a small blood vessel in the eye breaks and bleeds. This bleeding can be caused by trauma or by retching or vomiting. Like a black eye, the color change from a sub conjunctiva hemorrhage typically goes away slowly on its own, and the condition does not need any treatment.
• initially, the swelling and discoloration may be mild. The eye may start off slightly reddened, then progress to a darker shade.
• Later, the skin around the eye becomes deep violet, yellow, green, or black in color.
• Swelling increases as discoloration progresses.
• Over the course of a few days, the area becomes lighter and the swelling decreases.


If you seek medical treatment for a black eye, your doctor will perform a basic examination. They’ll also ask how the injury occurred and inquire about related injuries. Your doctor will test your vision by shining a light into your eyes and also ask you to follow their finger with your eyes.
If a skull fracture is suspected, your doctor will order a CT scan and X-ray of your face and head. If an eye injury is suspected, you’ll be referred to an ophthalmologist. This specialist may put a dye in your eye to test for eyeball abrasions.

Treating black eye

Black eyes due to a minor injury can be treated with ice, rest, and pain medication. A follow-up visit with your doctor will be suggested if you have any visual changes or lingering pain.
If swelling and pain accompany the bruising, apply a cold compress for 20 minutes, and then take it off for 20 minutes. When the swelling reduces, you may apply a warm compress to help promote the reabsorption of blood.
For any pain and throbbing, you may take pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Avoid putting pressure on the affected area.

Home remedies for Black eye

You may have a skull fracture if you have double vision, bruising around both eyes (raccoon eyes) or bleeding from the nose.
To take care of a black eye:
• Apply a cold compress soon after the injury. Using gentle pressure, place a cold pack or a cloth filled with ice to the area around your eye. Take care not to press on the eye itself. Apply cold as soon as possible after the injury to reduce swelling. Repeat several times a day for a day or two.
• Look for blood. If you see it in the white or colored parts of the eye, seek urgent care by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
• Seek medical care immediately if you have vision problems (double vision, blurring), severe pain, bruising around both eyes, or bleeding in an eye or from the nose. Apply warm-hot compresses. This may be helpful after a few days when the swelling has stabilized. Repeat several times a day for a day or two. Rest and ice applied early after the injury helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice helps decrease swelling by constricting blood vessels, by decreasing fluid accumulation, and by cooling and numbing the area.
• Apply ice for 20 minutes an hour every hour while awake, for the first 24 hours. Do not apply ice directly to the injury.
• To avoid potential cold injury to the site, wrap the ice in a cloth or use a commercial ice pack. A bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth makes a good ice pack.
Protect the area from further injury. Avoid athletic or other possibly injurious activities until the eye has healed.

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