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Black eye

Black eye can be due to a blow to the face and causes pain, swelling, blurry vision and headaches. A black eye involves bruising to the tissues found around the eyes. This can lead to swelling around the eye that might also be due to nasal injuries, surgery on the jaw, allergic reactions and undergoing aesthetic procedures such as face lifts.

Causes of black eye

  • A direct blow to the eye, nose or forehead and depending on where the blow strikes, one or both eyes can be affected.
  • A blow to the nose will result to swelling of the eyes caused by damaged to the nasal area and results to the accumulation of fluids on the loose tissues of the eyelids.
  • Head injuries known as basilar skull fracture causes swelling of both eyes and can appear blacken which is called “raccoon eyes”.
  • Black eyes can also be caused surgical procedures such as face lift, nose surgery or jaw surgery.
  • Allergic reaction and insect bites
  • Cellulitis
  • Dental infections


Black eye

Head injuries known as basilar skull fracture causes swelling of both eyes and can appear blacken which is called “raccoon eyes”.

Edema or swelling and pain are the common symptoms of a black eye and sometimes there is discoloration due to the bruising.

From the start the swelling and discoloration, both can be mild and the area around the eye starts to become slightly reddened and eventually becomes darker in color and the swelling becomes severe. The individual can end up with blurred vision or difficulty in opening the eyes. In a few days, the affected area becomes light in color and the swelling is minimized.

Symptoms of severe damage include loss of sight or inability in moving eye and double vision. Losing consciousness, blood on the surface of the eyes, blood or a clear fluid coming out of the nose or ears and persistent headache indicates the need to seek medical help immediately.


  • Apply an ice pack on the affected eye for at least 20 minutes every hour on the first 24 hours. If ice is not available, a bag of frozen vegetable can be used to match the shape of the face better than ice cubes. Ice minimizes the swelling and constricts the vessels of blood to prevent internal bleeding, bruising and for fast healing of the condition. Wrap the ice pack in a clean muslin cloth and place it over the eyes for at least 10 minutes for several times every day on the first 48 hours. Applying ice on the area also relieves pain. Avoid applying ice directly on the eye to prevent further injury.
  • After 1-2 days, apply a warm compress on the area to increase the flow of blood to the tissues found around the eyes and for fast healing of the condition. Immerse a clean cloth in warm water and squeeze out the excess water and then place on the eye until the cloth becomes cool. Repeat this procedure several times every day.
  • Massage the affected area gently if it does not cause pain for proper circulation of blood in the area and eliminate the buildup of dried blood under the skin.

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