Black Eye Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on March 08, 2021

First step: Apply something cold to the area. It helps ease swelling and narrows your blood vessels. That will stop bleeding below your skin. Make a crushed ice pack, grab a bag of frozen veggies, or use a cold gel pack. Wrap it in a cloth so it doesn't have direct contact with your skin. Hold it to your eye for 10 minutes intervals every 1 to 2 hours. Limit icing to 10 minutes so the ice doesn’t damage your skin.

Besides icy treatment, there isn’t much you can do except to avoid anything that could cause further injury. Don’t put pressure on your eye or try to force it open. Talk to your doctor about the right medicine to take to help with pain.

When to Call the Doctor

All doctors will suggest a cold compress to ease swelling and stop the bleeding.

You won't be able to spot problems by simply looking in the mirror. You should see a doctor right away if you have fever, blurred or double vision, severe eye pain, bleeding from the eye, or trouble breathing through your nose. These signs may suggest a broken bone around the eye, increased orbital (eye) pressure or eyeball damage. Also, raccoon eyes are a sign of trauma. These can indicate a fracture at the base of skull.


Show Sources

James, B., Chew, C., Bron, A. "Trauma," Lecture Notes on Ophthalmology, Blackwell Publishing, 2003. 
American Academy of Ophthalmology.


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