Management for a black eye

Most cases of black eye can be managed at home. The commonly used treatment choices include over-the-counter pain medications, application of ice and adequate rest. It is vital to seek medical care if the eye becomes infected or does not heal within 2 weeks.

Self-care for a black eye

Adequate rest and application of ice immediately after the injury can reduce the pain and swelling. The cold works by reducing the swelling by constricting the blood vessels, reducing the build-up of fluid as well as cooling or numbing the affected area.

  • Apply an ice pack at 20 minutes every session while awake during the initial 24 hours. Make sure that the ice pack is covered with a cloth or towel.
  • Protect the affected area from further injury. Avoid any physical activity until the eye has recovered.

Medical care

Black eye

Adequate rest and application of ice immediately after the injury can reduce the pain and swelling.

For an uncomplicated case of black eye, the treatment is the same as self-care measures. As for complicated cases, the individual might be referred to a specialist such as a neurosurgeon for injuries to the skull or the brain or an ophthalmologist for eye injuries.

Preventive measures

A black eye can be prevented with the following measures:

  • Check the house for items that can cause a fall such as clutter in the floor or throw rugs. This will minimize the risk for injuries for both children and the elderly.
  • Use proper protective gear for work or sports-related activity for protection against eye injuries.
  • Wear goggles or other form of eye protection during various activities.
  • When driving, use seat belts and helmets.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on black eye is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage a black eye by taking a standard first aid course with Kelowna First Aid.

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