A black eye is formed by an injury to the face or head. When blood and other fluids collect in the space around the eye, it causes swelling and discoloration around the eye. This is known as a black eye or shiner. Though the condition is known as “Black eye”, the eye is not actually injured, only the tissues around the eye get discolored. The skin around the eye is loose and has fat deposition underneath it. This causes easy fluid accumulation in this area. Most of the black eyes are minor injuries and they may heal on their own. When the black eye heals the swelling around the eye disappears and the bruise also fades away. The black eye will appear as very dark purple initially and as it fades it may change the color to light purple, greenish, or yellow. In some cases the black eye is a warning sign of serious injury to the face or head.
What Causes Black Eye
There are different causes for the appearance of a black eye. The most common reason for a black eye is the blow to eye, nose, face or forehead. Depending on the position of the blow one or both eyes may be affected.
• Blow to the nose usually causes both eyes to swell and change the color as the fluids from the nasal injury get between the tissues and the loose skin around the eye.
• Some head injuries called basilar skull fracture leads to black eye and swelling and this is known as “raccoon eyes”.
• Surgical procedures to the face like face lift surgery and nose surgery results in
Other Major Causes
There are other reasons that cause swelling around the eye, but may not cause the skin to turn black this includes
• Allergic reactions
• Insect bites
• Cellulitis or infection of the skin around the eye
• Angioedema or swelling around both eyes
• Dental infections
The Symptoms Of Black Eye
The important symptoms of black eye are
• Swelling and pain around the eyes
• Discoloration around the eye caused by bruising
• Difficulty in opening the eyes because of swelling
• Headaches and in some cases blurry vision
• In some people black eye causes nausea and vomiting
When To Seek Medical Advice?
As said earlier most of the time black eye is caused by minor injuries and they are resolved on their own or by some simple home remedies. You may have to seek medical advice for black eye if there is a serious condition like
• Loss of consciousness due to injury
• Spontaneously appearing black eye which affects both the eyes
• Loss of sight
• Double vision
• Inability to move the eye
• Blood on the surface of the eye
• Blood or clear fluid coming out of nose, ear, etc
• Persistent headache caused by black eye
• Increased sensitivity to light or changes in vision
• Nausea, vomiting and/ or dizziness
It is better to consult a doctor if, you are unsure about the home remedies to be provided or if you are confused about the symptoms.
The Complications Of Black Eye
If you have a severe injury in the face or eye area of it will result in certain complications. The important complications are
• Traumatic uveitis and iritis- which cause reddened eyes and pain in the eye when exposed to light. The person also has blurred vision or floating spots before the eyes.
• Hyphema- accumulation of blood in the anterior chamber of the eye which can cause damage to the interior tissues of the eye
• Fracture of orbital floor -this is caused by blunt trauma to the eye. The blow pushes the eyeball deep into the socket, fracturing the thin walls of the bones of the socket. This can lead to loss of vision or double vision
• Glaucoma- this can occur immediately after the trauma or years after it. The trauma causes bleeding inside the eye which causes increased eye pressure which damages the optic nerve.
• Retinal detachment- trauma causes dislocation of the retina and this will result in permanent vision loss.
How To Prevent Black Eye?
It is possible to prevent the injuries to the face or eye by following the basic injury prevention methods.
• Avoid any item on the floor which may cause falls. Like floor mats, toys, pets inside the house
• Use appropriate protective gears while performing an athletic activity or risky jobs
• Wear goggles to protect the eye when you are involved in outdoor activities, which may cause injuries to the eyes
• Wear helmets to protect the head while riding two wheelers
• Use seat belts while driving the car
Treatment For Black Eye
If your black eye is uncomplicated you can opt for any of the home remedies to get rid of a black eye fast. There are many remedies available which are very effective in relieving the black eye really fast. If your injuries are complicated the patient should visit an appropriate specialist according to the site of the injury that causes the black eye. If there are injuries to the eye, the patient should be taken to an ophthalmologist. For injuries involving ear or nose, it is better to consult an otorhinolaryngologist or ENT doctor. Facial injuries can be well treated by an oral/maxillofacial surgeon.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Black Eye Fast
It is necessary to do the home remedies as early as possible after having an injury near the eye or face. This will help to reduce the swelling and pain associated with a black eye. The person also needs rest to recover from the black eye. Here are the home remedies to get rid of black eye fast. These home remedies work by preventing fluid accumulation in the area.
Ice helps to decrease the pain and swelling as they constrict the blood vessels. They will cool the area and make the area numb, so that the immediate pain is not felt. Wrap the ice in a piece of soft cloth and rub it on the injury. Do not apply ice directly to the injury as this may cause cold injury to the site. Do not use frozen object like meat to give cold compression as this may cause infection if the there is an open injury. Keep applying ice every hour for the first 24 hours to reduce swelling.
Keep Your Head In Elevated Position
Keeping head in the elevated position will reduce fluid accumulation, especially when you are sleeping. Use two pillows to keep the head in an elevated position. This will reduce swelling.
After 48 hours it is better to go for hot compressions as this will speed up the healing process. Give hot compressions every hour and it should not last more than 20 minutes.
Clean The Area
Clean the injured area with mild soap and water without applying pressure. This will prevent any infection of the skin around the eye. This will help in easy healing of the black eye.
You can use any natural oil to slightly massage the affected area. This will help to relieve the swelling faster. The best option is olive oil as it has antiseptic properties. Do not apply pressure while massaging as this may cause more pain.
This is a powerful and easily available home remedy for the black eye. Grate some raw potatoes and place it over the eye. Leave this on the eye for at least 15 minutes. This will decrease the swelling significantly. You can also use sliced and refrigerated potatoes to keep on the eyes to get rid of a black eye.
You can use chilled cucumber slices just like potato slices to get rid of the problem of a black eye. The coolness of the cucumber soothes the eye and reduces inflammation.
Chilled Tea Bags
Dip the tea bags in boiling water for some time and keep the tea bags in refrigerator to cool it. Place the cold tea bags over the eye for about half an hour. The tannin present in tea reduces sogginess of the eyes.
If you are suffering from bruising and pain due to black eye, this is the home remedy which can provide you an excellent result. You can make a paste of comfrey root by grinding it with water. Apply this paste on the affected area once a day to see the changes. You can also make a decoction of comfrey root by boiling it in water. Dip a clean cloth or cotton ball in this warm decoction and apply it to the bruised area to get much relief from pain.
This herb has excellent ability to reduce the swelling caused by black eye. This herb also helps to heal the tissues and muscles that are damaged by the trauma. It is necessary to use the herb as early as possible to prevent the bruise from turning worse. You can use the Arnica oil on the affected area for 2-3 times a day to get better and faster results.
Vitamin c helps in any type of healing process. So if you want to treat the bruises associated with a black eye, include a food item that contains more vitamin C. This means you will have to consume more lemons, oranges, apples, strawberries, guavas, gooseberries, broccoli etc. This vitamin helps in the thickening of blood vessels speeding up the healing of bruises. You can also opt for vitamin C supplements.
This helps to reduce inflammations caused due to trauma. You can take vitamin K Pills or food rich in vitamin k to reduce inflammation around the eye. Spinach, parsley, broccoli, turnip greens, Brussels’ sprouts, Romaine lettuce etc are rich in Vitamin K
Pineapple is a fruit rich in antioxidant and this will speed up the healing process in people. It is possible to treat any discoloration or injury to the skin either by applying the juice of the pineapple to the affected area or by simply eating the fruit. You can also drink pineapple juice to speed up healing.
This is another fruit which helps in healing of the bruised tissues. You can consume the fruits as such or you can take the juice internally. You can also make a pulp of the papaya fruit and apply it on the black eye to reduce the discoloration.
Cayenne Pepper And Vaseline
This is a popular Chinese remedy to treat black eye. Mix together one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and five tablespoons of melted Vaseline. Mix them well and allow the mix to cool thoroughly. Apply this mix on the affected area. Make sure that the mix does not get into your eyes. After a few hours, the mixture can be wiped off using a wet tissue or cloth. If the black eye is severe you may have to repeat the remedy at least three times a day to get faster result.
Witch hazel is a good healing agent for different types of problems including bruises caused by black eyes. There are different ways to use this home remedy. One way of using this remedy is to soak the cotton pad in the witch hazel and to place it on the affected area for a few minutes. This will provide soothing feeling and promotes healing. Another way of using this remedy is to prepare a solution of witch hazel, chamomile essential oil and water and applying this solution on the black eye using a clean cloth or cotton ball. Repeat the process 2- 3 times a day to get excellent result.
Have you experienced any trauma which has caused you a black eye? Are you looking for the home treatment methods to get rid of a black eye? Then try any of the above given home remedies and find relief from pain, swelling and discoloration due to black eye. If you feel that the swelling is not reduced even after 4- 5 days, it will be better to consult a doctor to get the problem analyzed.