When fluids gather around the eyes, discoloration may occur. The resulting effect is what is referred to as a black eye and is mostly characterized by swelling. Although this type of injury is minor and thus not life threatening, it’s still imperative to treat is as soon as possible. When left untreated, it can cause severe damage to the eye and even lead to other serious eye conditions.
The material posted on this page on managing a black eye is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage head and / or spinal injuries, bruising and / or swelling enrol in a first aid class with one of our training providers near you.
Contrary to popular perception, the eye itself is usually not injured. It’s a bruise that occurs around the eye in most cases. The condition resolves in a few days as the signs of bruising fade and swelling decreases.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2wlgz7zAFo” width=”220″]
What Are the Causes of Black Eye?
There are several causes of this eye problem with the main ones being:
- A huge impact to the nose normally causes swelling around the area, which often includes the eyes. This is due to the fact that nasal injury makes the eyelids to start swell.
- Surgical procedures may also lead to this condition. Surgery on the nose, jaw or face tends to affect the eyes.
- Head injury may also lead to swelling around the eyes. This condition causes the eyes to start resembling those of a raccoon hence the name ‘raccoon’s eyes’.
- Allergic reactions often lead to infections in the eyes. The blackening can be caused by several factors with the main being insect bites. This type of black eye condition is also linked with dental infections.
What Are the Symptoms for this Eye Problem?
There are several symptoms that you should be able to identify. They are as follows:
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
The severity of the symptoms varies from patient to patient but the darkening is normally mild at first. Then the skin turns red and then violet. The shades will get darker until the area surrounding the eye is black. As the eye heals, the swelling will decrease and so will the discoloration. If you experience a severe migraine, it could be an indication of internal head injury.
What Are Black Eye Treatments?
This condition can be managed effectively at home with over-the-counter medication for alleviating pain. Patients normally recover within a period of few days. Ice is also another equally effective technique that will help in reducing swelling and pain.
For persistent cases, it’s advisable to seek professional help from an ophthalmologist. Relevant tests will be conducted to eliminate all potential threat of severe damage.
Make sure that you see a doctor immediately should any of the following symptoms appear:
- Vision alterations
- Severe pain
- Drainage of pus
- Excessive swelling
- Sight loss
When conducting the diagnosis, doctors inquire about the circumstances leading to the black eye. Motion is tested as well. Special light is used to establish the presence of foreign objects inside the eyes. CT scans are also performed for severe cases where the doctor suspects a head fracture. For alarming issues, you’ll generally be referred to a specialist.