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Eye Injury: First Aid for a Black Eye - Forrest Health
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    Eye Injury: First Aid for a Black Eye

    Topic Overview

    A black eye is a type of bruise. Simple bruises are treated with ice and by elevating the head. The bruise should be gone in 2 to 3 weeks.

    • Apply ice or cold packs for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day during the first 48 hours to help reduce swelling. Place a cloth between the ice and the skin. The sooner you apply a cold pack, the less swelling will occur.
    • Do not use chemical cooling packs. If the pack leaks, the chemicals could cause more eye damage. Do not use a raw piece of meat on a black eye.
    • Keep the head raised to help reduce swelling.
    • Be sure to look at the eyeball for possible injury.
    • After the swelling is gone, warm compresses may relieve pain.
    Medicine you can buy without a prescription

    Try an over-the-counter medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

    Safety tips

    Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use an over-the-counter medicine:

    • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.
    • Do not use more than the recommended dose.
    • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
    • If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
    • If you are or could be pregnant, call your doctor before you take any medicine.
    • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

    Related Information

    Credits

    Current as of: June 26, 2019

    Author: Healthwise Staff
    Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine


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