As horrifying as a black eye can look, it is usually nothing that will cause lasting or serious damage. A black eye is technically a hemorrhage around the eye; the blood that's underneath the skin shows through as a purplish color.
There are many diseases and conditions that can cause a black eye, but a true "shiner" is typically caused by some trauma to the eye. Anyone with a black eye should see a doctor to rule out damage to the eye itself. If you have any vision problems, it is especially important to get to the doctor immediately.
Once you've been checked out, head over to next page to discover some ways to care for your black eye.
Hold an ice pack or some ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth on the eye. Ice helps reduce swelling and numbs some of the initial pain.
A bag of frozen, upopped popcorn kernels or frozen peas placed over a washcloth on the affected eye can also help cool the area and bring some pain relief.
Clean any small lacerations with mild soap and water. This will help keep the area from becoming infected with bacteria. Then continue to keep them clean and dry.
The area has already been traumatized enough, and pressing on it will only cause further trauma. Be gentle when you apply an ice pack to a black eye or clean the area.
Don't be embarrassed by your black eye. It's going to be around for a while--about one to two weeks. It will lessen during that time, but it won't fade completely for a couple of weeks or so.
As is true with so many injuries, the best treatment is prevention. While you may not necessarily like the way you look in goggles, wearing them can help you ensure that you'll be able to see the way you look.
A black eye can be painful and put you in the limelight for a little while, but it's an injury that's easily treatable and goes away with time.
Gender can affect whether a bystander performs CPR on the person in need. Learn more at HowStuffWorks.
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