Black eyes are bruising and swelling around the eye and the eyelid
What to look for
bruising and swelling of the eyelid and the area around the eye. The bruising may last up to 10 days and changes colour from purple/blue to yellow within that time.
Usually this type of bruise will heal quickly and of its own accord however there are times when this bruising signifies a more serious injury particularly if the eye is bloodshot. It is possible that an eye injury of this sort could involve a detached retina or lead to glaucoma. A fracture impair vision and surgery may be needed.
Most black eyes are the result of a strike that causes bleeding beneath the skin, producing the characteristic blue-black discolouration. A fractured skull can cause black eyes. There are occasions when people with allergies can get black eyes (usually under the eye itself).
The best remedy is to put something cold (such as an ice pack) onto the affected area for about 10 minutes at a time which helps reduce the swelling and constrict the blood vessels.
If you need to take a pain reliever do so to relieve any associated pain. However it is not wise to try to prise open the eye or touch the area too much.
If the eyeball is obviously damaged or protruding seek medical attention immediately.
It is important to have a balanced diet with plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, filtered water.
When to seek further professional advice
- If two eyes are black out at the same time
- your eyeball hurts.
- you have an open cut around or in the eye.
- your vision is affected in any way; or if you see anything different such as spots etc.