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Black Eye


A black eye is a bruise of your eye or the area around it. A black eye is caused by an injury to your eye, such as a direct blow from a sports injury.



  • Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain and fever. Acetaminophen is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your eye for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
  • Heat: Use heat after the first 24 hours. Heat helps decrease swelling. Apply heat on the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for as many days as directed.
  • Do not lie flat: Keep your head and back elevated when you rest, such as in a recliner. Place extra pillows under your head and neck when you sleep in bed. This will help decrease swelling. Ask your primary healthcare provider how many days to do this.
  • Limit activity: Do not exercise or lift heavy objects for 48 hours. This could cause more bleeding under the skin.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your primary healthcare provider if:

  • Your nose is bleeding.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a severe headache.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You are dizzy or feel faint.
  • You are confused.
  • You cannot move or walk the way you usually do.
  • You have changes in your vision, such as double vision.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.