Getting bruised around the eyes or face can be very painful and stressful. It can also be very exhausting trying to deal with its treatment as black eyes usually change the color of the skin around your eyes which can make you feel terrified of even looking at yourself in the mirror!
It may even seem like you got punched straight in the eye or the dark rings around your eyes can make it look like a panda or raccoon making you less confident to go out.
Before talking about the various symptoms and recovery methods, let’s first understand what exactly a black eye is, and how it is caused!
To begin with, the skin under your eyes is one of the most sensitive and delicate parts of your body. Getting a black eye can be very painful and irritating and in severe cases requires extreme medical treatment.
Clinically known as ‘periorbital hematoma’, it refers to the bruise and discoloration of the skin around the eyes.
The colors can range from yellow, green, reddish violet to black, hence the name.
The blood vessels of the facial skin especially around the eyes are very thin and small. Therefore it’s very easy to get bruised resulting in leaking of blood vessels which can cause the eyes to swell and be discolored.
Mostly they occur upon direct injury to the face or anywhere around the eyes. The results vary upon the force of the hit.
Apart from that, it can also occur due to cosmetic eye surgery, certain types of dental surgery or treatments, sinus infections, nasal surgery, etc.
Sometimes it can also result in severe internal bleeding of the eye known as ‘hyphema’ which requires intensive medical care.
Others such as ‘subconjunctival hemorrhage’ which is the leakage of blood vessels inside the eye resulting in red spots in the white of the eye or in severe cases covers the entire white area.
It can mostly be treated within 7-10 days but I would advise you to consult an eye doctor in case of any red-eye.
While there are varied types of black eye ranging from minor to severe, there are appropriate treatments for it as well. But before you go for the cure, here are a few of the symptoms you should check on-
👁️🗨️ Change in the color of the skin around the eyes.
👁️🗨️ Swelling up of the eyes making it very difficult to open.
👁️🗨️ Blood flowing from the nose or ears.
👁️🗨️ Continuous painful headache.
👁️🗨️ Nausea and vomiting.
👁️🗨️ Blurry or loss of vision.
👁️🗨️ Blood inside the eyeball.
Steps For Healing
Normally black eyes are expected to naturally reduce within a few weeks through the body’s self-healing mechanisms so you needn’t be worried too much!
However, here are a few ways in which you can speed up the healing process,
👣 Upon the injury, the best measure you can immediately take to reduce the swelling up is to place a bag of ice cubes or icepack or a pack of frozen vegetables over your bruised eyes for 20 mins.
The cold temperature slows the blood flow thus preventing leakage of blood vessels. This helps to prevent or reduce any tissue damage, therefore, reducing the intense pain and puffiness. Make sure to continue this for around 2-3 days.
👣 After following the above procedure for a few days, gradually switch to warm or lukewarm water compress. Warm water boosts circulation and increases blood flow to your eyes promoting faster repair. It also prevents any blood clots.
👣 Once the swelling has reduced enough, gently massage the affected area using coconut oil every night. Massaging helps activate the lymphatic system and fastens the healing process. The anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil soothe the bruise and reduce its appearance.
👣 Essential oils such as peppermint oil or lavender oil can also be used while massaging, both of which have great pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
👣 You can also follow other natural methods such as applying green tea bags that are rich in antioxidants and tannins or drinking lemon or orange juice which are great sources of Vitamin C helping in faster recovery.
👣 Make sure that you keep your head in an elevated position as it prevents the pooling up of blood inside your eye and instead flows back to your heart.
👣 Another ideal remedy is using Vaseline or white petroleum gel. Apply it gently around the eyes every night. Its healing and moisturizing properties are great for treating black eyes and also helps keep the eyes cool.
👣 Commonly used for treating dark circles, cucumbers can also be used for curing black eyes. Rich in antioxidants with a high amount of water, it cools down the swelling and reduces pain.
Their anti-inflammatory properties also help moisturize the delicate skin around your eyes. Chilled cucumbers are mostly recommended.
👣 Do not place raw meat or steak over your black eye. One of the common misconceptions is that raw meat can help treat the black eye. But it doesn’t!
It actually worsens the bruise as raw meat already has the presence of so many bacteria and other microbes which can cause infection in the wound.
All of these are just simple methods that you can try at home to treat your eye bruise.
But a black eye is not only caused by a direct impact on your face or eyes. It can also result due to a fractured skull or brain injury.
Basal Skull fractures (BSF) are the most common causes of the ‘Racoon’s eyes’ which is a critical condition where both eyes are bruised leading to black eyes.
In cases of severe fracture, surgery is required to fix the broken blood vessels or remove clots or broken bones.
It is always advised to check up with your eye doctor to know the exact underlying cause before trying out any healing methods.
Even though the initial days involve intense swelling and pain, the black eye usually reduces and recovers completely within approximately 2-3 weeks.
While the natural-healing takes place, the color around your eyes can also change along with the size of the swelling before finally getting back to normal.
While treating your black eye, the most important factor to keep in mind is to be careful of not letting your eyes, face, or head endure another bruise even in the slightest way as it can prevent the self-repair process and worsen the injury.
Therefore, do not engage in any extreme sports and be cautious of tripping over or getting anything inside your eyes.
Above all, you need to ensure to take maximum rest until it completely recovers and consumes a nutritious diet to speed-up the healing process!