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Black Eye

What is a Black Eye?

A black eye is a relatively common result of some injury to the face or the head.

A black eye is also called ecchymosis.

What Causes a Black Eye?

A black eye is usually caused by direct trauma to the eye. Trauma to the eye can cause blood and other fluids collect in the space around the eye. Swelling and dark discoloration occur when blood and fluids collect around the eye.

A black eye may also be caused by a direct blow to the nose. A blow to the nose often causes both eyes to swell because the swelling from the nasal injury causes fluid to collect in the loose tissues of the eyelids.

Surgical procedures to the face, such as a facelift, jaw surgery, or nose surgery, can also cause a black eye.

Symptoms of a Black Eye

Some common symptoms of a black eye are:

  • Eye pain
  • Swelling of the eye
  • Bleeding in the front portion of the eye
  • Discoloration around the eye
  • Headache

Can a Black Eye be Treated?

Yes. Most black eyes are minor injuries and will heal on their own in a few days. However, sometimes they signify a more serious injury.

Complications of a Black Eye

Reoccurring bleeding in the eye can reduce vision and damage the cornea. In severe cases, glaucoma can occur.

If a black eye accompanied by double vision, loss of sight, loss of consciousness, inability to move the eye, blood or clear fluid from the nose or the ears, blood on the surface of the eye itself, or persistent headache, contact a doctor immediately.

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