Black Eye: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Picture of a black eye

A black eye is bruising and swelling around the eye or the eyelids. The swelling from your black eye may get worse over the next couple of days. After that, the swelling should steadily improve until it is gone.

The bruise around your eye will change colours as it heals. The skin may turn from black and blue to green, yellow, and brown before it returns to its normal colour. It may take 1 to 3 weeks to return to normal.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice pack and your skin.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have any new changes in vision, such as double vision or blurring.
  • You have new or increased pain in or around your eye.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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