Eye Injury: First Aid for a Black Eye
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.
Try an over-the-counter medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use an over-the-counter medicine:
Current as of: March 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine