A black eye (also known as a shiner) is bruising around the eye that is commonly due to an injury to the face rather than the eye itself. It is typically caused by bleeding that occurs beneath the skin and around the eye area.
Most black eye injuries are minor and will heal themselves in approximately one week. Trauma near the eyebrow or other areas around the eye may even make the eyelid go black.
Medical attention is generally not needed and the home remedies below can help reduce the swelling and in some cases even help the color fade sooner. However, please be sure to read the section below When to See a Doctor to ascertain when a black eye might be serious enough for medical treatment.
Possible Causes of a Black Eye,
* A direct blow or injury to the eye area
* A blow to the nose will often causes both eyes to swell
* A surgical procedure done to the face such as jaw surgery, nose surgery or a facelift,
* A certain type of head injury called a basilar skull fracture will cause both eyes to swell and blacken
Possible Symptoms of a Black Eye,
* Pain and swelling
* Mild swelling and discoloration that goes from slightly reddened color to a darker shade
* Rainbow color effect that goes to a deep violet, yellow, green, or black in color.
* Swelling increases as color progresses
* Lighter rainbow color effect after a few days as swelling decreases and discoloration fades
* Blurry vision or difficulty opening the eye due to swelling
* Headache that might be due to the cause of the black eye
Home Remedies for a Black Eye
* Ice It
When it comes to a black eye, applying ice on and off for the first 48 hours is crucial in helping to keep the swelling down and to decrease the internal bleeding.
* Place Frozen Vegetables Around Eye Area
Never place ice directly on skin. A bag of frozen vegetables, especially peas, will makes the perfect ice pack for your eye because the peas inside will mold around the affected area easily. When the peas start to defrost, simply throw back in the freezer and reuse when frozen again. (Do not eat the peas however after they have defrosted and have been refrozen.)
* Make a Playtex Glove Ice Pack
Another creative ice pack idea is to fill a clean plastic Playtex Glove with ice, then tie the cuffs securely so they will not leak. The heavy plastic on the outside of the glove will help to protect skin from ice-burn.
* Avoid Aspirin
Aspirin can prevent blood from clotting and can actually blood spread more easily, so do your best to avoid taking aspirin while waiting for your eye to heal.
* Try Tea Bags
Good old fashioned tea bags work wonders for many home remedies and a black eye is one of them. The chemical in tea acts as an anti-inflammatory so it will help decrease the swelling. Simply soak a tea bag in very warm tap water for a minute or two, gently ring the tea bag and apply to bruised area. (Keep your eye closed. (Tea Bags also work for everyday under eye puffiness.)
* Try Parsley Ice Combo
Parsley is another great old folk remedy for a black eye because it helps with both bruising and swelling. It has both anesthetic properties as well as anti-inflammatory. When you combine it with ice it packs a double healing wallop to your black eye (no pun intended) . Simply mix about one cup of fresh parsley with about 2 tablespoons of water. Stir it up in the blender for about 20 seconds- then freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray. When the ice is frozen – wrap the cubes in a soft cloth and apply to eye area for about 15 to 20 minutes.
* Vitamin C
Vitamin C is great for helping prevent the rainbow effect that usually accompanies a black eye which can you looking back to normal a little quicker. You can consume Vitamin C the old fashioned way by eating a lot of oranges or drinking a lot of orange juice. Green leafy vegetables are also loaded with Vitamin C or you can even try Vitamin C supplements that you can find at your local drug store.
* Vitamin K
Vitamin K is good for slowing the spread of black eye bruising. You can easily find Vitamin K supplements at your local food or drug store. Or, if you happen to be an an alfalfa sprout fan, you can get your Vitamin K from that source. (Warning: Do not take Vitamin K if you are pregnant or on a blood thinner.)
* Try Bromelain
Bromelain can be found in most drug or health food stores. It is great for helping fade the black color naturally. Simply take 1 to 2 grams of it with water before meals. A great natural source of bromelain happens to be pineapple. So if you would rather skip the supplements – reach for fresh pineapple to eat.
* Make a Chinese Paste Remedy
This is another great old remedy that works well. Combine 1 part cayenne pepper with 4 to 6 parts petroleum jelly. You start by lightly heating up the jelly, mix in the cayenne and then gently apply around the black eye once a day. This is great in helping flush out stagnant blood.
* Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is another great item to have around the house because it is good for so many home remedies. It also works very well for a black eye. Soak a cotton ball in Witch Hazel and gently swab the eye area a couple of times a day. You can also purchase witch hazel pads that can be placed on the eye throughout the day.
When To See a Doctor for a Black Eye,
While most black eyes go away on their own within a week, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:
* A loss of consciousness (as in knocked out)
* If there is a change in behavior after the injury
* If there is nausea, vomiting, and/or dizziness after the injury
* Behavioral changes, forgetfulness, or lethargy
* Swelling does not start to improve after a few days
* An inability to walk after the injury
* It there is blood in the eye itself
* If there are changes vision or loss of vision (especially double vision)
* Inability to move the eye itself to look in different directions
* Any injury that might have pierced the eye directly or an object that might be inside the eyeball
* Swelling either after a bee sting near the eye or from a suspected infection of the eye
* People who take blood thinner or have a history of hemophilia should go to emergency room just to be on the safe side
Be Sure to Visit Our Sister Sites
*While this site is dedicated to Home Remedies, there might be a rare occasion where you might need a little help from an outside source. The following are some other products or procedures that you can try if your situation is a little more severe and these home remedies aren’t quite doing the trick.