Table of Contents Show
When we hear the term black eye, the first image that pops into our heads is that of an eye with a black sclera and a red iris (a kakugan) But relax, a black eye is not as scary as it sounds. This article deals with black eyes and treatments and remedies that teach us how to heal a black eye.
1. What Is A Black Eye?
A black eye occurs when the human skull receives some kind of damage, particularly in the area surrounding the eyes, this results in the appearance of certain bruises around the eye region. The skin as well as the tissues around our eyes is extremely sensitive and even the slightest bit of inconvenience can cause it to act up. As mentioned above when this area gets exposed to extensive trauma blood vessels that are present underneath the skin of this area collapse or break which may cause an in-considerable amount of blood flow.
As time passes, mucus fluids accumulate in the eye region, resulting in swelling. The area then starts to turn blue or purple, sometimes even black. A black eye causes discomfort and pain due to the hampering of blood capillaries and an unnatural amount of blood flow. In some cases, it can also be a sign of skull fracture or a more serious injury. Though black eyes are common a person needs to ensure that it has not caused any other serious eye injuries.
2. What Causes a Black Eye?
Black eyes can be caused due to a variety of reasons.
They occur frequently, especially after a person has received any cosmetic surgery. Black eyes appearing from such surgeries usually heal within weeks just with the use of ice packs and in most cases, they do not connote to more serious injury. But if they do not get healed by ice packs even after a considerable amount of time then it calls for a medical emergency.
Black eyes can also occur when people get involved in fistfights or even when they are abused and receive some physical injury by getting struck in the face or by receiving a blow to the head1. This may cause eye injury or double vision for some days but the healing process takes place at a steady pace. Here too people are advised to use a cold compress but if the bruise and the pain remain stubborn, the patients need to visit their healthcare provider to seek medical attention immediately.
Most black eyes can also occur as a result of various accidents and even though a bag of frozen peas and other home remedies are shown to reduce swelling to the injured area2, medical care is advised in some cases especially when the patient witnesses any blood coming out through their eyes or the skin around the eye area.
3. Adverse Effects Of Having A Black Eye
Black eyes can cause pain due to rupturing of blood capillaries, swelling, blurry vision, eye injury blood clotting headaches, constant bleeding, concussion, skull fracture, etc. Although most black eyes get healed by first aid home remedies some may cause more severe injury and they, therefore, compel the patient to see a doctor so that the bruise heals and to make sure that hematoma has not taken place.
4. How To Heal A Black Eye Using Home Remedies
If a patient experiences none of the above-mentioned effects like excessive swelling, headaches, clotting, etc then it may be a sign that the black eye leads to no special medical attention and can therefore be treated by using some home remedies to boost the healing process.
4.1 Using A Cold Compress
Applying an ice pack in the early stages of experiencing the trauma to the injured area can help ease the pain and the puffiness that come along with a black eye. Applying an ice pack can promote blood flow by soothing blood capillaries under the bruised skin around the eye area. An ice pack can be prepared at home quite easily by just wrapping up crushed ice in a clean towel or any other cloth.
A frozen bag of peas or other frozen vegetables, towels soaked in chilled water, cold spoons, cucumber or cold milk can also act as brilliant cold compresses to treat a black eye. They can also soothe eye pain and headaches effectively that follow a black eye.
4.2 Using A Warm Compress
Although using a cold compress is the most basic and usually safe home remedy that people use to heal a black eye, people suffering from arthritis have claimed that applying warm compresses can benefit the injury more and promote healing. A warm compress can help in increasing blood flow to the injured area and can also alleviate bruising.
To make an effective warm compress people are suggested to dip either a towel or any other clean cloth in mildly warm water (neither too hot nor too cold) and are then asked gently dab at the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes with it.
Patients can also use warm tea bags in the affected area. Tea bags are safer and work just as well.
Warm compresses must be used carefully on sensitive parts of the body.
4.3 Moisturising The Injured Area
Moisturising the injured area along with massaging gently can also boost blood flow in the affected region. Messaging gently is one of the best home treatments as it is proven to stimulate blood flow.
lubricants like coconut and other essential oils, petroleum Jelly or aloe vera, can also be applied to the injured area to ease the massaging process.
4.4 Vitamin C
Vitamin C present in citrus fruits contains healing antioxidant properties. Vitamin C can boost collagen production and can therefore heal bruises from within. It is also proven to reduce swelling and pain.
To heal a black eye patients can consume food that is rich in vitamin C. Consuming oranges, pineapples or lemons in any form 3 to 4 times a day can ease severe pain caused by a black eye naturally. A rich vitamin C diet can quickly heal a black eye.
Check out the top health benefits of Vitamin C
For ages, zinc has proven to contain properties that are required for strengthening the tissues of the body. When the tissues are strong the healing of wounds or injuries takes place at a rapid pace.
To heal a black eye patients must consume a diet which is rich in zinc. Consuming spinach, oysters, chickpea, yoghurt, beans et cetera can help.
Just like zinc can strengthen tissues of the body similarly foods rich in protein can help in strengthening blood capillaries. To heal a black eye patients must consume a diet which is rich in protein. Consuming food like fish, eggs, lentils, nuts, peas etc can help.
4.7 Lots Of Sleep
Getting a lot of sleep gives a person’s body some time to repair all kinds of injuries. Resting along with performing other remedies after getting a black eye can also heal the affected eye area. Resting can also prevent the eyes from unnecessary strain. After getting a black eye the patient is required to make sure to keep their head elevated by placing pillows under their head. If the patient fails to keep their head elevated while sleeping, it can result in blood clotting in the ruptured blood capillaries which can cause severe pain and increased swelling.
4.8 Things To Avoid
Certain things need to be kept in mind while using home remedies as first aid to treat a black eye.
• One must never put frozen raw meat in the injured area as raw meat can contain certain bacteria that may cause various infections.
• Ice cubes need to be crushed before applying to avoid injury from sharp edges.
• While applying warm compresses one must bear in mind to not apply any excess pressure to the injured area as it can increase pain.
• Water used in a warm compress should be lukewarm to avoid causing further irritation to the injured eye Area.
• Lubricants should be avoided in case of irritation.
• High screen time must also be avoided.
• No medication should be taken that has not been prescribed by a doctor.
5. When To See A Doctor?
Although black eyes heal on their own after 3 to 4 weeks one must seek the help of their healthcare provider if pain and swelling in the injured eye seem to be increasing as time passes.
Other symptoms like nausea, dizziness, fainting, severe headaches, oozing of blood, vision changes, pus formation, et cetera also call for immediate medical attention.
5.1 Medical Treatments
If a black eye compels a patient to seek medical help then they will be required to go through a basic skull examination. This might include performing a CT scan or even An X-ray of the skull. Laser treatments have also been proven to help reduce bruising.
The eye doctor might even perform other tests to check for possible abrasions. The medical practitioner may further provide antibiotics or a protective eye cover. The doctor may even perform mild surgery if the injury keeps getting worse.
6. Preventing Black Eyes
There exist various prevention measures that can be taken up to reduce or prevent the chances of a black eye. These include:
• Wearing protective eyewear while performing activities that involve a higher risk of accidents.
• Wearing seat belts in cars in case of accidents.
• Using protective gear while performing sports that involve a high chance of injury for example boxing and martial arts.
• Staying aware of the surroundings and being Steady.
7. Healing Process
A black eye me require 3 to 4 weeks to heal completely. Patients are required to be careful during the healing process by constantly trying to heal the injury either by home remedies or medication first top during the healing process many changes take place in the injury first of these changes include:
• Constant change in the colour of the bruise from black or purple to yellow ( yellow colour shows that the bruise is finally fading) depending on the skin colour.
• Breaking down of clots in blood vessels present under the skin.
• After about 2 weeks bruise gets light and gradually decreases.
The severity of a black eye depends on the intensity of the trauma that has caused it sometimes home remedies like cold and warm compresses, massaging, vitamin C consumption and rest up are proven to help in rare cases special medical attention comes to aid. Patients are required to keep a constant record of the nature of the injury and the changes that take place in the injured area to heal the black eye quickly.
9. Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to ease the pain?
The pain that accompanies a black eye is immense, cold compresses have proven to help subsidize it. certain medications can help as well but they need to be taken only if they are prescribed by a doctor.
2. Should I consult a doctor?
If you are not experiencing symptoms like nausea, dizziness fainting, severe headaches, constant oozing of blood, partial vision impairment, pus formation etc then consulting a doctor might not be necessary.
3. How long does a Black Eyed take to heal?
The healing process is gradual and it is different for different people depending on their health conditions, gender and age but it must not take a black eye more than 3 to 4 weeks to disappear completely.
4. How does the diagnosis of a black eye take place?
A medical practitioner would start either with a CT scan or an X-ray before prescribing any medication.
5. Does a black eye treatment involve surgery?
In most cases, the black eye is shown to heal on its own over a considerable period mostly with the help of home treatments. Very few cases need medical treatment and even fewer involve surgery.