Black eye

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A black eye is likely to occur if a child was struck in the eye or bumps into a hard surface. A black eye can be treated at home using an ice pack but it is ideal to bring the child to a doctor so that further assessment can be carried out.

What are the possible causes?

The usual cause of a black eye is sustaining a direct blow to the eye or nose. Take note that this can occur if the child bumps into something or struck by a moving object such as a ball.

This can damage the sensitive tissues surrounding the eye and result to bleeding beneath the skin that causes evident swelling and bruising.

What are the indications?

  • Pain
    Black eye
    The usual cause of a black eye is sustaining a direct blow to the eye or nose.
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

The skin initially appears reddish and then turns purplish, yellow, green or black.

When to consult a doctor

It is vital to seek medical care right away if the following are present:

  • Child complains of double or blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Could not move the eye or move it in different directions
  • There is swelling or redness in the white part of the eyes
  • Both eyes are blackened, particularly if the child sustained a blow to the head
  • There are cuts around the eye or you suspect that something penetrated the eyeball

Other factors that warrants medical attention include the following:

  • The eye appears strange
  • Child experiences a headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Child has bleeding or drainage of clear fluid from the ears or nose
  • Drowsiness or behaving in an unusual manner


If the child has a black eye, apply an ice pack over the affected eye for 10-20 minutes every 2 hours during the initial 24 hours to reduce the swelling.

The individual should sleep on a few pillows or cushions to minimize the swelling around the eyes. This can take 1-2 weeks for the swelling and bruising to completely subside.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on black eye is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage internal bleeding from a black and how to perform proper wound care by taking a standard first aid course with one of our training centers.

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The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
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