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A “black eye” is really a bruise around your eye. It usually results from an injury to your face or head rather than an injury to the eye itself. Pooled blood and fluids in the skin around the eye cause swelling and a black-and-blue color. A black eye should return to normal in a week or two.
In many cases, a black eye is a minor injury and can be treated with cold packs and pain medication. But seek medical care right away if you have any of these symptoms:
A change or loss of vision
An eye that won't look in more than one direction
Blood inside your eye, or bleeding from your nose or ears
Fluid leaking from your eye
Your injury will be inspected.
Your vision, the way your eye moves, and the bones around your eye will be checked.
You may have a fluorescein stain test. This uses dye and a special light to check for eye damage.
An x-ray or other tests may be done.
Depending on the results of your exam and tests, you may be referred to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
While your eye is healing, call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
Swelling that doesn't improve after a few days
Increased or severe pain
Changes in your vision
Warmth, redness, or pus near the bruise
Apply ice packs every 20 minutes you're awake for the first 24 hours.
Use warm compresses every 20 minutes for the next 24 hours.