Symptoms and Signs of Black Eye

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2019

Doctor's Notes on Black Eye

A black eye refers to the visible bruising of the eyelid and the area around the eye. A black eye is typically caused by trauma to the eye or face. A common cause is a blow to the nose, eye, or forehead. Other causes can include surgery on the face or a type of skull fracture known as a basilar skull fracture.

Signs and symptoms associated with a black eye can include pain, swelling, and headache. The bruising is usually dark purple at the outset after the injury. Certain symptoms may be indicative of a more serious injury, such as severe pain, vision changes, changes in mental status, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, forgetfulness, behavioral changes, or inability to move the eye.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.