Eye Contusion

ExitCare ImageAn eye contusion is a deep bruise of the eye. This is often called a "black eye." Contusions are the result of an injury that caused bleeding under the skin. The contusion may turn blue, purple, or yellow. Minor injuries will give you a painless contusion, but more severe contusions may stay painful and swollen for a few weeks. If the eye contusion only involves the eyelids and tissues around the eye, the injured area will get better within a few days to weeks. However, eye contusions can be serious and affect the eyeball and sight.

CAUSES

  • Blunt injury or trauma to the face or eye area.

  • A forehead injury that causes the blood under the skin to work its way down to the eyelids.

  • Rubbing the eyes due to irritation.

SYMPTOMS

  • Swelling and redness around the eye.

  • Bruising around the eye.

  • Tenderness, soreness, or pain around the eye.

  • Blurry vision.

  • Tearing.

  • Eyeball redness.

DIAGNOSIS

A diagnosis is usually based on a thorough exam of the eye and surrounding area. The eye must be looked at carefully to make sure it is not injured and to make sure nothing else will threaten your vision. A vision test may be done. An X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan may be needed to determine if there are any associated injuries, such as broken bones (fractures).

TREATMENT

If there is an injury to the eye, treatment will be determined by the nature of the injury.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times a day.

  • If it is determined that there is no injury to the eye, you may continue normal activities.

  • Sunglasses may be worn to protect your eyes from bright light if light is uncomfortable.

  • Sleep with your head elevated. You can put an extra pillow under your head. This may help with discomfort.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not take aspirin for the first few days. This may increase bruising.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have any form of vision loss.

  • You have double vision.

  • You feel nauseous.

  • You feel dizzy, sleepy, or like you will faint.

  • You have any fluid discharge from the eye or your nose.

  • You have swelling and discoloration that does not fade.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.