A “black eye” is the appearance of an injury, bruise, or trauma in or around your eyes. It is mainly due to a direct injury to your face or head, which causes internal bleeding in the skin surrounding your eyes. And blood leaks in the injury affected tissues when the capillaries or small blood vessels break. That’s why the affected eye and the surrounding area start looking different than usual, mainly black colored. A black eye is not always severe but sometimes can indicate a severe injury such as a fracture to the skull. So, how to get rid of a black eye when it is not very serious?
The answer to this question may vary according to the extent of discoloration, cause, and duration since you have noticed a change in appearance. Sometimes black eye may result from a surgical procedure or a facelift. When the skull fracture is a real reason, the condition is called”Raccoon eyes,”and the blood is accumulated under the eyes.
If you notice a black eye due to a minor injury, you can opt from a wide range of home treatments available. If caused due to trauma, domestic violence, or without a specific cause, you must get immediate medical attention. Before jumping on some very effective self-treatment for black eyes due to minor injury, let’s talk about some important, relevant aspects in detail.
Causes of Black Eye
As we have discussed earlier, black is usually a result of an injury or trauma. Violence can also be a prominent cause of the black eye. Also, a strike on the face during boxing or wrestling are among the common causative factors. A sports injury may also cause a slow but progressive discoloration of the eyes.
Sometimes, minor tissue injury during dental or cosmetic surgery is also responsible for changing how your eyes look.
What would cause a black eye for no reason?
It is improbable that you may have black eyes without an injury, trauma, or a forceful hit to your head or face. However, other factors like cosmetic eye surgery and nasal surgery may also be responsible. Other possible causes are severe sinus infection, tooth infection, and some other types of dental procedures.
If you are not aware of an external or apparent cause, some severe medical conditions can also cause black eyes. They are:
- Skull fracture
- Hyphema:Rare bleeding between the back of the cornea and iris. It’s a medical emergency and may result in vision loss if not given proper, timely medical support.
- Cellulitis: Infection of the tissues around your eyes.
Can a black eye be permanent?
Depending on the severity and cause(s), a black eye may take 2 to 3 weeks to get better. However, if there is some serious injury to the eye socket or other part of the skull, it may take a couple of months to heal completely.
Usually, the black eyes are due to external injury and don’t cause any permanent damage your eye or surrounding tissues. If you feel sudden change in vision after an injury or a trauma, you should not take it lightly. You might be having much more than only a simple bruise. The injury may have caused a fracture of delicate bones forming the eye socket, or the structure of the eye itself is compromised.
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What are the signs and symptoms? – Different Stages of the black eye
Signs and symptoms of the black eye may vary purely according to the cause. If a serious injury or trauma is a cause, you may notice sudden, dark discoloration of the eye and surrounding skin. In such a case, immediate medical help might be vital.
Pain, bruising, and swelling are among the most common signs and symptoms.
- If the extent of the injury is not very serious, you may notice mild swelling and discoloration. Then, there might be redness of the eye that may progress to get a darker shade.
- Later, the skin surrounding the eyes may become violet, black, green, or yellow.
- If not given immediate treatment, discoloration may progress with an increase in swelling.
- If the black eye is due to a mild injury such as a sports injury, an accident, a punch, or a collision, the impacted area improves, swelling reduces and becomes lighter within a couple of weeks.
Although, a person may experience difficulty opening the eye or blurry vision due to an increase in swelling. Serious vision problems due to minor or mild injury are not usually common.
Signs of Severe Head or Eye Injury
If the injury to the eye or surrounding area of the skull is severe, there might be some other signs, including:
- Double vision
- Sudden loss of sight
- Improper movement of the eye
- Oozing of blood or other abnormal fluid from the nose or the ears
- Accumulation of blood around the eye itself
- A continuous, throbbing headache
If you experience any of these symptoms of a black eye, you should immediately call for a medical emergency.
How is Black Eye Diagnosed?
Usually, a basic physical examination is necessary, especially if the eye gets black without severe injury or trauma. The doctor may inquire you in detail to know the reason and to understand how your eye is impacted.
- Checking the vision, examining the eyes with a torch, looking into the pupils, testing the motion of the affected eye, and assessing facial bones’ condition are some common ways of diagnosing the black eye.
- According to the cause and extent of the impact, your doctor may suggest some additional investigations, including:
- Advanced examination of the eye by putting a dye in the eye and looking under a special light to know if there is an abrasion to the eyeball or check for foreign objects.
- If the doctor finds some signs of fracture of facial bone or skull, you may have to go through an x-ray or a CT scan.
- Your doctor may refer to an appropriate specialist, maybe an ophthalmologist or even a neurologist for correct and proper examination and follow-up care if there is something serious.
How to Get Rid of a Black Eye?
Getting rid of a black eye at home is possible, especially if the causative factor is not very serious. Proper rest and cold application are sometimes very adequate to heal the condition.
1. Ice Packs
Ice is surprisingly useful to reduce swelling as it constricts blood vessels and reduces fluid accumulation. Ice also cools the area down and lowers inflammation. If you get a mild or moderate injury, you should rush towards the refrigerator to get some ice cubes. Otherwise, a clean cloth soaked in cold water will help as well.
- Apply ice packs for fifteen minutes every hour for the first twenty-four hours. Avoid applying ice directly on the injury.
- A commercial ice pack or wrap of the ice cubes in a cloth is recommended to avoid possible cold injuries.
2. Warm Compresses
Warm compress is also an effective home treatment for a black eye. But you should avoid this treatment in the first couple of days after the injury. Apply warm compresses when the swelling is reduced after applying ice packs for the first two days.
To get the best results from warm compress,
- Fold up a clean cloth and place in a large bowl with hot, but not boiling water.
- Take the towel out and squeeze gently to remove excess water.
- Fold in square and apply gently on black eye, keeping your ere closed for around twenty minutes.
3. Gentle Massage
Massaging the affected area gently also helps inincreasing the healing process. But like warm compresses, don’t start massaging right after the injury. Massage gives excellent results once the swelling and bruise are subsided. Avoid massage if you feel pain or inflammation in the injured area.
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Also known as marigold, calendula is also an effective treatment for a black eye. Calendula is famous for its healing prowess and the ability to reduce inflammation. If there is marked bruising or swelling, calendula becomes a primary treatment option. Here are some tips to effectively use calendula.
- Get a handful of fresh calendula petals and put them in a cup of hot water.
- Steep for about fifteen minutes, remove from the stove, and keep aside.
- Then refrigerate the calendula-infused liquid for about half an hour.
- Soak a soft, clean cloth in the liquid and massage the eye area for five to ten minutes.
- Calendula plants are not accessible to everyone. You can look for Calendula Officinalis Mother Tincture online or at a nearby homeopathic pharmacy for similar results. It works superbly on different types of injuries and bruises.
Like calendula, arnica can be immensely useful if the wound is not contused or marked darkness of skin due to blood accumulation. Arnica herb does wonders in case of an eye injury or black eye. If arnica herb is readily available, you should go for it as a primary treatment for a black eye.
Again, like calendula, finding arnica herbs is as tough as it gets. However, you can find Arnica Montana Mother Tincture or Arnica Cream online orat a homeopathic store. Arnica Mother Tincture has shown some fantastic results on bruises without bleeding.
How to heal a black eye overnight?
Healing black eye overnight doesn’t sound very practical. However, there are some very effective home remedies to heal very mild cases of a black eye. Here are some of them.
1. Potato Slices
You can get quick results by using potatoes for mild injury on or around your eye.
- Slice a raw potato and extract the juice.
- Soak a cotton ball in the potato juice and use it to massage impacted areas.
- Otherwise, cover the injured area directly with sliced potato.
- Leave the juice or potato slice over the bruise for around ten minutes.
- Remove and wash gently with cold water.
- You may have to repeat these tips numerous times to heal a black eye overnight.
2. Chilled Tea Bag
Child tea back can be another quick and effective treatment for the black eye. This remedy can be beneficial, especially if the injured area gets black very quickly.
- Soak a chamomile tea, green tea, or other fresh tea bags in water.
- Remove the teabag and place in your fridge for about half an hour.
- Place on the injury for ten minutes.
- Repeat every two hours to get quick relief.
How Does Toothpaste Help a Black Eye?
Those self-claimed healers talk a lot about the effectiveness of toothpaste on a black eye. However, that’s miles away from reality. There is no practical, medical, or even theoretical evidence of using toothpaste for a black eye. In fact, some ingredients in certain toothpaste may aggravate the pain, especially in case of bruised or contused injury.
So, we recommend you not to try toothpaste or something silly for your eyes. Try other home remedies we have discussed above – but only in mild cases of a black eye. Otherwise, we suggest you talk to an experienced doctor to examine and treat the black eye properly.
A black eye is usually not very serious, and you can manage it at home with some very effective home remedies. Try these remedies if your black eye is not severe. If you have got a black eye after an accident, trauma, a severe hit due to any reason, trying to treat it at home is like calling for the trouble.
And after all, your eyes are the most vulnerable and, at the same time, very precious organs. You should not take any injury or hit to your eye lightly. If you ask us for suggestions, we would like to suggest you see a doctor even if you get a mild eye injury. What’s wrong if you get clearance and busted all the doubts from your doctor?
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