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Black eye - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide

Last Updated on Oct 26, 2012
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What is Black eye?

  • A bruise in the tissues around the eye/eyes
  • Results from injury to face/head
  • Causes swelling and dark coloration of eye
  • Hence, "black eye"
  • Usually a minor problem
  • Sometimes it indicates a serious injury
  • One or both eye affected
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Causes

  • Blow to eye / nose
  • Facial surgical procedures 
  • Allergies
  • Bites

Symptoms

  • Discoloration of eye
  • Swelling
  • Blow to nose causes swelling of eye 
  • Head injuries may blacken/swell  eyes
  • Pain
  • Blurry vision due to swelling
  • Headache

Symptoms of severity

  • Persistent headache
  • Double vision
  • Inability to move eye/eyes
  • Blood on eye surface
  • Blood/fluid issue from nose, ears
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of sight

Treatment

  • Black eyes generally heals within a few days
  • Consult with specialist for serious injuries
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Home remedy

  • Apply ice for 20 min/hour, first two days
  • If not better, apply warm compress once in two hours
  • Do not use ice directly
  • Wrap ice in cloth or use commercial pack
  • Continue cold compress till severity eases
  • Take acetaminophen, for pain relief
  • Avoid aspirins / non-steroidal medications
  • These medications may cause bleeding
  • Stay away from strenuous activity
  • See a medical specialist as soon as possible
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Treatment for complications

  • For head injuries-Neurosurgeon
  • For nose injuries-ENT specialist
  • For eye injuries-Ophthalmologist
  • For face
  • Injuries/disfigurement-Plastic surgeon
  • Carry out follow-up as advised by doctor

Prevention

  • Protect your eyes always
  • Ensure safety at home by removing unwanted objects
  • Avoid fist fights
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