A black eye often results from injury to the face or the head, and is caused when blood and other fluids collect in the space around the eye. Swelling and dark discoloration result in a black eye. Most black eyes are relatively minor injuries. Many heal on their own in a few days, but they may signify a more serious injury. Despite the name black eye, the eye itself is not usually injured. The tissues around the eye may be significantly discolored and swollen without any injury to the eye itself, like a bruise (ecchymosis) around the eye.
The skin around the eye is very loose, with mostly fat underneath it and fluid accumulates easily in this area. The skin around the eye is one of the first places to swell when the facial area is injured. Depending on the location and type of injury, one or both eyes may be affected. Injuries to the eyebrow, nose, and forehead area often result in black eyes because gravity pulls the blood and inflammatory fluid into the soft tissues under and around the eyes. As a black eye heals, the swelling around the eye decreases, and the bruise gradually fades away. The bruising will usually start out a very dark purple, and as it fades, it may change to light purple, then greenish, then yellow before disappearing.
Home remedies for black eye include rest and ice applied early after the injury help to decrease swelling and pain. Subsequently, he treatment prescribed by health care professionals is similar to home treatment, including icing of the eyes, rest, and pain medications.
Any blunt force trauma to the eye socket or areas around it can damage small blood vessels under the skin and cause them to leak, leading to the development of a black eye Because the facial skin around the eye socket is relatively thin and transparent, even a slight pooling of blood can result in a very noticeable discoloration. Also, since the tissue in this area is relatively loose, fluid leaking from blood vessels easily accumulates around the eye, resulting in a puffy black eye.
In most cases, a black eye is like any other bruise and is not a cause for extreme concern. To care for minor black eyes at home, apply a cold compress as soon as possible following the injury. A bag of frozen peas works better than ice cubes, because it conforms more easily to the face. Another option is to chill a metal spoon in the refrigerator, then gently apply the back of the spoon to different parts of the bruised area. Cold compresses can be applied for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time and can be reapplied every hour. This will help constrict blood vessels and limit the amount of swelling.
To treat the pain, over-the-counter medications can help. However, Aspirin should be avoided, as it is a blood thinner, and therefore might make your black eye look worse.
If you do consult a doctor for a black eye, the treatments include the same as home remedies – icing the injury and OTC medications. For more complicated injuries, the patient may be referred to an appropriate specialist; such as an ophthalmologist, who can treat the patient's injuries to the eye itself, or an otorhinolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat [ENT]), or an oral/maxillofacial surgeon for fractures to the face.
Most black eyes are minor injuries that heal on their own in a few days with ice and over-the-counter pain medications. You should consult a doctor only if you experience changes in vision, have swelling around the eyes that does not go away even after a week, experience signs of infection such as fever and pus, and nausea or vomiting.
Simple black eyes go away on their own in a few days, so if you don’t experience any problems with vision, or don’t develop any infection around the eye area, then there is no need to consult a doctor or go in for a black eye treatment.
Treating a black eye is a very simple and easy procedure, and it does not have any side effects at all.
Within a few days of getting a black eye, the swelling starts to decrease, and the discoloration becomes lighter. The dark colors gradually fade after a few days, from dark blue, violet, or black, to a yellowish-green. A black eye normally disappears within 1 to 2 weeks.
Most black eyes are treated at home, so there is no cost involved if you treat a black eye at home. Visits to the doctor entail only the money charged for consultation, and for buying OTC medications. In case any serious injuries are involved, then it is followed up by sending the patient to an ophthalmologist, who will check the patient for symptoms and treat them accordingly. Even if the patient has to visit a specialist, the entire procedure will be done under Rs. 5000.
Once a black eye has been treated properly with ice, it goes away on its own in 1-2 weeks. Unless there is any further injury to the face, the tissues around the eye go back to their normal state.
Most black eyes go away on their own in a week or two, so there is no need to consult a doctor for getting treatment for a black eye. Icing the wound at home is more than enough.