“Black Eye”: Causes, treatment & preventive measures
Following an injury near the eye, fluids are collected in the surrounding tissues causing “shiner” or a “black eye”. Internal bruising or discoloration due to ruptured blood vessels under the skin’s surface causes reddish-black spots and when it happens on or near to the eye is referred to as “black eye”. Like many other bruises, it’s accompanied by inflammation whereas forceful impact or trauma being the basic cause. The injury is, however, non-penetrating but there can be other causes!
About black eye
Periorbital hematoma is the medical terminology for a black eye which actually relates to the collection of blood (hematoma) within the surrounding tissues to the eyes and not actually inside the eye hence (periorbital). A direct forceful impact either to the eye socket or surrounding area can damage the tiny blood vessels under the skin.
Internal bleeding leads to the development of dark spots we know a black eye or shiner. The skin around the eye socket is transparent and fragile due to which even the slightest pooling of blood gives an obvious tint. The puffiness is due to internal blood leaks from these tiny vessels that pools around the eye.
There’re countless reasons causing black eyes such as playing contact sports or involuntary exposure of the eye to some object. Other surprising reasons are sinus infection, tooth and nasal surgeries, dental/oral infections and so on. Some of the most serious causes include cellulitis (a severe infection around the eyes) and a fissured skull resulting in two shiners known as “raccoon eyes”.
Internal bleeding to the anterior of the eye is known as hyphema which is rather a medical emergency. Bleeding occurs between the corneal rear and frontal of the iris which significantly increases the eye pressure and raises the risk of vision loss from glaucoma if remained untreated.
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a black eye with a bright red sclera which is the white part of the eye. Though not an emergency, it requires immediate doctor’s attention so as to undergo timely treatment.
The black eye is much like any other bruise and nothing quite serious, however, in extreme cases such as the severity of the anomaly may require patients to undergo eye surgery in Dubai; only after doctor’s consent. Here’re a few symptoms that require you to seek immediate medical attention;
- Oozing of the blood from nose or ears
- Blood within the eye (hyphema)
- Dizziness, fainting, and unconsciousness
- Visual abnormalities and appearance of floaters, flashes
- Tinting of both the eyes
- Inability to move the eye
- Persistent headache
Minor black eyes can be treated at home by application of cold compressions immediately after the injury. These can be applied for more or less 20 minutes at a time following reapplication (if necessary) after an hour. For minor pain, over-the-counter analgesics may help however, blood-thinning medications must be avoided else they would worsen the condition. For serious cases, always seek doctor’s advice!
Though common, the black eye requires careful assessment by the doctor before beginning with self-treatment.