How to treat a black eye

A black eye is typically caused by some trauma to the eye, which results in blood pooling in the affected area.

Black eye

A bruised eye

What is a black eye?

A black eye or bruising around the eye happens when there is a haemorrhage around the eye, and the blood pools in the affected area. The skin around the eye is very thin, and so the blood under the skin shows through as a purplish colour.

Here’s how you treat a  black eye

Treat it with ice

Make sure you treat the black eye immediately to reduce swelling and bleeding internally. Wrap some ice in a cloth and place on the injured eye. Ice helps reduce swelling and numbs some of the initial pain. However, make sure not to apply pressure.

In case the eye is terribly swollen, then place the ice pack just above it. Remember never to use ice pack for continuous long periods. Always do it at 10-minute intervals.

Clean it up Wash your eye

Use a mild soap and lukewarm water to clean any small lacerations. This will keep infection away. Then keep them clean and dry thereafter.

Do not press on the eye

The area is but naturally traumatised, so stay off it. Any more pressing will only cause more trauma and worsen the case. So be gentle while applying any of these remedies.

Vitamin K to the rescue

Vitamin K promotes healing of the tissue. It is easily available over the counter in pharmacies. Buy a cream with 1 to 5% of vitamin K and gently apply onto the affected areas around the eye. Take care to ensure it does not get into the eye socket.

Another way to do this is to soak a sterile dressing with vitamin K cream or oil, then put the dressing on the injured eye, and tape it.

Wear this vitamin K ‘eye patch’ while you sleep.

Take a painkiller

Take a painkiller, available over the counter if you have pain from bleeding or swelling. Stay away from asprin till it heals completely, as it has anticoagulant properties that prevent the blood from clotting, resulting in worsening your bruise.

Home remedy

Parsley is known to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties. Put some parsley and crushed ice into a blender, and then pour the mixture onto ice trays. Let it freeze and then use the parsley ice pack on your eye to treat the bruise.

black eye - sun glasses Dark glasses

Well, a black eye does take about a week or two to completely heal. Once the initial swelling and pain subsides you could use cosmetic remedies to hide your bruise. Get yourself a concealer or foundation that will help hide the mark. Also, wear dark glasses, that’s the easiest way out.

Don’t blow your nose

Do not blow your nose too hard while your eye is still healing, as you could risk causing the capillaries to start bleeding once again. This will result in it taking longer to heal and it might even cause the bruise to become bigger. Worse still, your eye could get infected due to accumulation of blood, especially if the bone of the eye socket is fractured.

In case of a black eye take care

It is a must to visit an ophthalmologist in case of any injury to the eye. At times, you might think the injury is superficial, but there are strong possibilities of complications such as retinal detachment or internal haemorrhage.

If the eye injury presents with double or blurry vision and ‘floaters’, severe pain upon movement and severe bleeding then visit the emergency of a hospital immediately.

Photograph via sxc.hu and Creative Commons

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