How do I get a black eye

Black eye: treat at home or see a doctor?

From All About Vision

"Blue eye" is the name given to the discoloration that occurs after trauma to the eye or the tissue around the eye.

Technically, a black eye is a bruise caused by ruptured blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin. Like other bruises, a black eye is usually accompanied by swelling.

Similar to bruising on other parts of the body, a black eye is usually caused by blunt force and is a non-penetrating injury caused by the impact. But there can be other causes as well.

What is a black eye?

The clinical term for a black eye is periorbital hematoma. Although this medical term is harder to pronounce, it describes the condition more accurately - it's a build-up of blood (hematoma) in tissues that surround the eye (periorbital).

A black eye can affect the area under the eye or completely encircle the eye.

Any blunt force applied to the eye socket or areas around the eye socket can damage and rupture small blood vessels under the skin, which can lead to the development of a blue eye.

Since the facial skin around the eye socket is relatively thin and transparent, even a slight accumulation of blood can lead to a very noticeable discoloration. In addition, the tissue in this area is relatively loose, so fluid leaking from the blood vessels easily collects around the eye, resulting in a swollen black eye.

What causes a black eye?

Blue eyes are usually the result of an accident in which an object hits the area around the eyes.

These accidents happen for a myriad of reasons, from exercising to just walking into something.

Other common causes are cosmetic eye surgeries, sinus infections, and nose surgeries. Dental treatments and tooth inflammation can also sometimes cause a black eye.

A serious condition that can be associated with black eyes is bleeding inside the eye, in the space between the back of the cornea and the front of the iris. This is known as the hyphema. Hyphemas are medical emergencies because, if left untreated, they cause a rapid rise in intraocular pressure and loss of vision glaucoma being able to lead.

Another condition that is often associated with a black eye is a bright red appearance of the sclera, the white of the eye. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Subconjunctival bleeding often looks scary, but is usually not dangerous and usually resolves within a few weeks without treatment.

Treatment of a blue eye

In most cases, like any other bruise, a black eye is not a cause of extreme concern.

However, it is always important to have an eye doctor checked for a black eye before attempting to self-medicate.

To estimate the severity of a blue eye, check out the following symptoms. If any of these are present, see a doctor or call an emergency doctor immediately:

  • Blood inside the eye (hyphema)

  • Blood flow from the ears or nose

  • Dizziness, fainting, or loss of consciousness

  • Changes in your eyesight, such as blurred vision, double vision, or loss of vision

  • Seeing lightning and vitreous opacities

  • Vomit

  • Inability to move the eye

  • Changes in behavior or lethargy

  • Strong pain

  • Bruising around both eyes

  • Persistent headache

  • Signs of infection such as warmth, redness, pus, or fever

  • Excessive swelling or swelling that was not caused by an injury

For home care for light blue eyes, you should apply a cold compress as soon as possible after the injury. A bag of frozen peas works better than ice cubes because it conforms better to the face.

Another option is to put a metal spoon in the refrigerator and then use the back to gently chill in different places on the bruised area.

Never apply raw meat to a black eye as this can significantly increase the risk of infection.

Cold compresses can be applied for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time and renewed every hour. This will help narrow the blood vessels and limit the swelling.

For mild pain, non-prescription analgesics, such as B. Paracetamol help. Avoid aspirin as it thins blood and it can make your black eye look worse.

If you have a severe black eye, your ophthalmologist can provide additional treatment recommendations.

This is how you get rid of a black eye

A black eye usually goes away within a few weeks. During the healing phase, it is important to protect the eye from further damage. Avoid all activities that could cause additional injury.

You will likely find that the color of your blue eye changes as it heals. Shades of purple, blue, and even green or yellow are not uncommon.

While there is no magic cure for getting rid of a black eye overnight, here are some things that can speed the healing process so that your eye looks better and you feel better, faster:

A slight black eye may appear red at first, then darken and swell more over time. As a black eye begins to heal, it can turn purple, blue, green, or even yellow.

  • Start with cold. Use a bag of frozen peas, a chilled spoon, or a cold compress to lower the temperature around the eye as soon as possible after the injury and during the first 24 hours.

  • Switch to warmth. After a day or two of cold packs, try gently applying warm (not hot) compresses to your black eye. This will increase blood flow to the area and facilitate healing.

  • Massage you the area around the bruise, not the black eye itself, gently in the days following the injury. This can help activate the lymphatic system near the bruise and speed the healing process.

  • Snack on pineapples. This tropical fruit contains a mixture of enzymes that inhibit inflammation and speed healing. This can help your violet go away faster.

  • Vitamin C. Most importantly, vitamin C helps reduce bruising - by strengthening blood vessels and reducing their tendency to leak after blunt trauma - but it can also help speed blue eye healing.

  • Blueberry extract. As a relative of the lingonberry, the blueberry contains powerful antioxidants that can help reduce or eliminate bruising. It can increase the effectiveness of vitamin C and strengthen the capillaries.

In most cases, you will see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of your blue eye within a week.

This is how to prevent blue eyes

To reduce your risk of black eye, always remember to wear safety glasses, sports goggles, or even headgear with a face shield when engaging in potentially dangerous activities or exercising.

Wearing a seat belt is also essential, required by law and significantly reduces the risk of blue eyes, even in minor traffic accidents.

Additionally, there are steps you can take around the house to avoid black eye. For example, do not leave objects on the stairs as this can easily lead to a fall and eye injuries. Rugs can also be a tripping hazard, so make sure they lie flat and are wrinkle-free.

Page published in September 2020

Page updated in February 2021