Black eyes can be challenging to deal with since they affect one of the most sensitive areas of our bodies. Fortunately, you don't always have to resolve over-the-top strategies to treat a black eye since there are some easy home remedies you can try.
In this post, we'll explain how to get rid of a black eye and other details that will help you stay on top of the situation.
Let's get started!
What is a Black Eye?
Let's start by looking at what a black eye is. A black eye is an injury to the tissues around the eye, also called a periorbital hematoma. Depending on how you get a black eye, it'll probably be best to seek medical attention to ensure you don't have a more serious injury. A black eye forms when you get bruised and fluids collect inside the tissues.
When you get injured, the blood vessels in the area around the eye rapture or get broken, disrupting blood flow. This causes the bruise to turn blue or purple, characteristic of black eyes. Fortunately, a black eye injury doesn't necessarily mean the eye itself is injured, only the surrounding tissue.
The reason black eyes normally look worse than they actually are is that the skin around the eyes tends to be thinner and more delicate than that of the rest of the body. As such, it easily gets puffed up and discolored when blood pools around the area.
What Causes of Black Eyes?
Most black eyes are caused by direct impact to the eye socket, where it causes trauma. This could happen in different ways, which we'll discuss below.
1. A Serious Head Injury
You could get a black eye if you got into an accident or an altercation that led to a fight. If someone or something hits you around the eye area, you'll probably end up with a black eye. If the damage is superficial, you can try our home treatment methods to treat a black eye.
2. Skull Fracture
This is more common in serious accidents and impacts in contact sports. If you get a skull fracture, you'll get a black eye in both your eyes. A skull fracture is a severe injury that requires urgent medical attention, so you should see a doctor if you suspect you might have it.
3. Surgery or Dental Work
Surgeries that are done on the face can also cause black eye formation. Such surgeries include facial surgeries performed on the facial bones or nasal surgeries. Dental work could also lead to black eye development, but that's less common.
4. Allergic Reactions
You could also get a black eye from an allergic reaction to a particular trigger. Alternatively, there are some health conditions that could predispose you to get a black eye.
5. A Sinus or Eye Infection
You'll probably be surprised to learn that you could get a black eye from a sinus or eye infection. Any infection that can affect the tissues around your eye could lead to the development of a black eye.
How to Get Rid of a Black Eye with Home Treatment
There are numerous medically reviewed black eye remedies you can try at home. So, we've gone ahead and assembled the steps you need to take to treat a black eye. This is how to get rid of a black eye at home.
1. Cold Compress
The first involves placing something cold like an ice pack on the injured area. The low temperatures cause the blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to the area around the eyes. Additionally, the ice will help alleviate the pain you feel and the level of swelling.
If you want to use a cold compress, here's how:
- Take an ice pack or some ice cubes inside a plastic bag, wrap it with a clean cloth, and place it gently on the injured section. It's essential to avoid placing ice directly on the skin.
- Keep the ice on the eye for about 10-20 minutes without placing a lot of pressure on the skin.
- Repeat the steps multiple times for a day or two.
You shouldn't use frozen raw meat or foods as a cold compress because they could contain bacteria that could enter the injured area and cause an infection.
2. Warm compress
The next thing involves applying warm compresses on the black eye. You should do so after using the ice to reduce the swelling, which could take a few days. While the ice reduces blood flow to the eye area, a warm compress will increase blood flow to ensure the area receives the nutrients and healing factors it needs for repair.
For this part, you'll require a large bowl and a clean towel. Once you have them, follow the steps below.
- First, fold the clean towel and put it inside the bowl
- Add hot water into the bowl but ensure it's not boiling.
- Remove the towel from the bowl and wring it to remove the hot water. Then fold the towel into a square.
- Place the hot towel on the injured area and hold it for about 20 minutes.
3. Gentle Massage
Once the swelling and pain have gone down, you can try gently massaging the area. The massage serves the same purpose as warm compresses, promoting blood flow to stimulate the healing process.
If you experience severe pain when massaging the area, you should avoid using this method immediately.
4. Keep Your Head Elevated
Something to keep in mind throughout the black eye treatment process is that you should keep your head up for the first few days after injury. This will help reduce the amount of blood and pressure to your head which will help keep the injury under some control. Putting your head in a declined position could increase bleeding cause the black eye to worsen.
How to Fade a Black Eye
Some of the remedies you can use to clear or fade the black eye include;
Also known as mountain tobacco, Arnica is a herb that's believed to offer anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the visibility of a black eye. Unfortunately, further research is necessary for professionals to understand exactly how it works. Nevertheless, you should avoid putting some directly in your eye.
2. Topical Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an over-the-counter solution for your black eye. Since it can help blood clotting and reduce swelling, it's a great way to treat a black eye. If you can't get some topical vitamin C, you can get oral vitamin C by eating oranges.
3. Laser Treatment
If you want a medical way to remove your black eye, you can get laser treatment. Dermatologists can use this treatment to prevent the spread of the bruise after physical injury. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to get this treatment, but it's effective in healing the skin around the eye.
Black-Eye Healing Process
There are several stages of healing you'll go through after getting a black eye. This information will help you know what to expect once you are familiar with how to get rid of a black eye.
- Time of Injury - Immediately after getting a black eye, there'll be some pools of blood accumulated under your skin, causing the eye area to turn red.
- Day 1 to 2 - After some hours, hemoglobin in the blood degrades, which causes the skin to turn reddish to blue or purple-black. This period is also characterized by swelling and pain.
- Day 2 to 10 - Your body gradually clears the old blood, and the black eye slowly turns to a yell0wish-green color. The swelling will have reduced by this point.
- Day 10 to 14 - The black eye no longer looks dark. Instead, it has a yellowish or light brown color.
- After 14 days - the black eye should have completely faded out.
When Should You See a Doctor for Your Black Eye
A black eye normally takes about two weeks to clear. If it hasn't healed after this period, you should seek immediate medical attention. The black eye could be a symptom of another severe injury or condition. If you have these symptoms after two weeks, you should quickly see a doctor.
- Increased swelling in the eye area
- Severe eye pain
- Double vision, blurry vision, or vision loss
- Numbness in your teeth or cheeks
- Ear bleeding
- Constant headache
- Loss of consciousness
It's essential to closely monitor the situation since you might require urgent medical help if you've had a more serious head injury than you thought. You don't want to cause further injury to the area, which is easy to do when you don't know what you are dealing with.
How to Prevent Black Eyes?
There are some preventive measures you can take to reduce the chances of getting a black eye. Some of these actions include:
- Wearing your seat belt when riding a vehicle
- Wearing protective gear when playing sports
- Keeping your safety glasses on when involved with potentially dangerous jobs
You now have all the information you need to successfully treat a black eye. Remember to keep the healing process in mind to ensure you know when you need more help than you have at home. With the steps in this post, you can ensure your black eye heals in no time, and you'll be up and running faster than you thought.