Black eye

A black eye is a contusion surrounding the eye along with discoloration and swelling. It is generally brought about by direct force to the face or eye. The injury can be minor or serious which is based on the intensity of the cause.

What are the causes?

  • Head injuries
  • Blunt injury or trauma to the skull base or face including the eye socket

What are the indications?

The usual signs of black eye include the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling around the eye
  • Purplish, bluish and black discoloration
    Black eye

    The initial step is to apply a cold pack or ice pack wrapped with a towel or cloth on the site of injury around the eye right away.

  • Bruising
  • Visual disruptions due to puffy or swollen eyelids

Management of black eye

  • The initial step is to apply a cold pack or ice pack wrapped with a towel or cloth on the site of injury around the eye right away.
  • The application must be continued for 15-20 minutes every 1-2 hours while awake for around 24-48 hours depending on the seriousness of the swelling. Take note that the discoloration and swelling is expected to settle within the next few days to weeks.
  • Make sure that there is no bleeding within the eye. If bleeding is present, seek prompt medical care.

In case there is bleeding or drainage of clear fluid from the ears or nose, laceration around the eye, visual disruptions, loss of consciousness and if the individual could not move the eyeball, seek medical attention.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a black eye is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly manage this injury, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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