An eye contusion is a bruise around the eye, more commonly known as a black eye. It may result when a blow happens in or near the eye socket. If a bruise appears, it will usually do so within 24 hours of the injury.
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After being struck in the eye or nose, blood leaks into the area surrounding the eye.
Factors that may increase your risk of an eye contusion include:
- Participation in high-impact sports such as basketball, football, hockey, and boxing
- Occupations that expose the eye to potential injury, such as manufacturing, construction, and athletics
- Fighting or other trauma
A black and blue or purple mark will appear following the injury. There may also be redness, swelling, and tenderness or pain. After it begins to heal, the contusion may turn yellow.
Eye contusions are diagnosed visually. Healthcare providers assume that the eye has been struck in some way. Most people are able to self-diagnose a contusion, but a doctor may confirm the diagnosis.
To help reduce your chance of an eye contusion:
- Wear protective eye covering such as safety goggles whenever the eye is exposed to potential injury at work or play. The best eye coverings fit snug against the skin so that no foreign objects can get underneath them and into the eye.
- Avoid situations that may involve fighting.