Definition of Black Eye and Symptoms

black-eyeBlack Eye – bleeding into the tissues around the eye resulting from trauma to the area, such as a blow or surgical operation.

As with any other bruise, the bleeding causes swelling and discoloration.

The most significant concerns with a black eye are damage to the eye or fractures of the orbital bones, which require immediate medical attention.

Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms accompany a black eye:

  • seeing dark spots (floaters) or flashes of light
  • any cuts on the insides of the eyelids or on the eye
  • blurry, distorted, or double vision
  • numbness on same side of the face
  • trouble moving the eye to look up, down, or to either side

Black Eye Treatment

Treatment for a simple black eye is cold to the area as quickly as possible after the injury occurs and at frequent intervals during the first 24 hours or until the PAIN subsides and the swelling stabilizes.

A black eye may take two weeks to fully heal, and undergoes a number of color changes as healing progresses. People who participate in sports such as softball, baseball, basketball, tennis, racquetball, soccer, and similar events should wear appropriate eye protection.


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