• Black Eye Diagnosis and Treatment

    Written By:
    Mar. 17, 2020

    In general, your doctor can simply do a physical exam to diagnose a black eye. He or she will check your vision and test the motion of your eye by moving his or her finger in front of your face and asking you to follow the movement with your eyes. The doctor will shine a light into your eyes to assess if your pupil is dilating normally and to look at the inside of your eye for any problems.

    The doctor will also examine the bones in your face and around your eye. If he or she suspects you may have fractured any bones or that there might be something inside the eye, you may have an X-ray or CT scan.

    Black eye treatment

    A typical black eye that does not involve more serious symptoms is generally treated with self-care at home. To reduce swelling and ease pain the first day, an ice pack can be applied to the eye for 15-20 minutes at a time, once every hour. If an ice pack is not available, a bag of frozen vegetables can be used, or ice cubes wrapped in cloth (to avoid freezing the skin). Despite what you see in movies or on television, you should never put a raw steak or other raw meat on a black eye. The bacteria on raw meat poses a high risk of infection, and this method of treating a black eye has no scientific basis.

    Finally, be sure to keep the affected eye(s) well-protected from further injury. Avoid sports or other similar activities where the eye can be hit until the eye has healed.

    If pain or swelling from a black eye do not improve after a few days, or if you are experiencing vision changes or problems, call your ophthalmologist.