Is your black eye a sign of a serious problem?

See a doctor immediately if you experience double vision and loss of consciousness.

See a doctor immediately if you experience double vision and loss of consciousness.

Photo credit: Fotosearch

What you need to know:

  • A black eye is a bruise that causes blood and other fluid to accumulate beneath the skin and in the tissues surrounding the eye.
  • The most common cause of black eyes is trauma to the head or face. This can happen from a fall, being hit by an object, or getting punched.

Did you know that the black eye is one of the most common facial injuries? Unfortunately, a black eye can be a frequent injury, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.

A black eye is a bruise that causes blood and other fluid to accumulate beneath the skin and in the tissues surrounding the eye. It is usually caused by an injury to the head or face. While most black eyes go away on their own after a few days, there are things you can do to speed up the healing process.

Top causes of black eye

  • The most common cause of black eyes is trauma to the head or face. This can happen from a fall, being hit by an object, or getting punched.
  • Black eyes can also be caused by certain medical conditions such as sinus infections, allergies, and eye infections.
  • After a dental procedure, you may experience bruising and swelling around your eyes.
  • In rare cases, black eyes can be caused by tumours or other growths around the eye.
  • Surgeries such as cosmetic surgery can lead to black eyes.

Symptoms of black eye

The most common symptom of a black eye is bruising and swelling around the eye. The area may be painful to touch and you may experience redness, itchiness, and watery eyes.

You may see blood in your tears or have blurred vision.

Discolouration around the eye, usually a dark blue or purple, is also a possible symptom of a black eye. This is caused by the pooling of blood beneath the skin.

Home remedies for a mild black eye

  • Apply a gentle cold compress around the area. However, do not apply the ice directly to the skin. Instead, wrap it in a cloth. Also, if the area is torn, it is not wise to use ice on it. Avoid placing cold meats too.
  • Elevate your head when you sleep by propping up pillows under your head and shoulders. This will reduce the swelling around your eyes.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses until the black eye has healed.

Black eye complications

In rare cases, a black eye can be a sign of a serious issue such as a skull fracture or brain bleed.

Other conditions associated with black eye include:

  • Head injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Eye injuries
  • Dengue fever infections
  • concussions

There are ways to identify severe complications of the black eye. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty moving the eyes
  • When both eyes have a black eye.
  • Double vision
  • Nose bleeding
  • Presence of blood on the eye surface
  • Persistent headache
  • Dizziness

Diagnosing Blackeye

If you have a severe black eye or if it does not seem to be improving after a week, you should see a doctor. They will determine if you have any underlying medical conditions causing the black eye.

The doctor will do a physical examination and ask about your medical history during diagnosis. They may also order tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to rule out other causes of the black eye.

In case of a severe head injury, a neurosurgeon is required. For eye injuries, an eye specialist is needed.

Prevention of blackeye

There are some measures you can take to prevent black eye injuries, such as:

  • Wear safety goggles when participating in sports or other activities with risks of being hit.
  • Avoid fights or other situations where you could be hit in the face.
  • Wear a seatbelt to prevent head and facial injuries in the event of a car accident.
  • Use safety equipment when playing contact sports, such as hockey, football, or lacrosse.

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