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How to Get Rid of a Black Eye

Jun 19, 2008
Maybe you just got slammed in the eye a few minutes ago and you haven't actually gotten a black eye yet, but expect one shortly. While you're waiting, you might as well deal with the pain and swelling.

A black eye is the result of a contusion, which is a fancy name for a bruise. Bruises occur whenever your body takes a sharp blow that breaks capillaries and causes blood to leak into surrounding tissues, collecting at the point of damage. Eventually, when blood leaks into the top layer of skin, it shows as purple. For some reason, when you get that purple bruising around an eye, people call it a black eye. We suppose "purple eye" just didn't sound right. And "black eye" is easier to remember than "bruising around the eye."

Black Eye Remedies

Black eyes commonly last for about a week. Should the above procedure not put you on the road to wellness after a few days, see a doctor. And certainly see a doctor if the blow to your anatomy results in blurred vision, pain in and around the eye, light sensitivity, or "floaters" in your field of vision. You may have gotten a concussion or done some serious damage to your eye. Also see the doc if any of the following show up in the next few days:

* Eye pain that's something more than the usual sensitivity from a bruise

* Increased redness

* Changes in vision

* Drainage from the eye

* Visible problems with the eyeball, such as bleeding

A few home remedies have been applied over the years. A century ago, leeches were put on your face to suck out the blood. (Just think of the reception you would get from your buddies coming into the office with a leech hanging from your cheek.) Then putting raw beefsteak on the black eye became all the rage. Some people still swear by that treatment, though they may not know the reason why it works - because the steak is cold coming out of refrigeration; a bag of frozen peas does the same thing and doesn't cost $8 a pound.

As for the embarrassment of explaining a black eye (people always assume, for some reason, it's the result of a well-placed knuckle sandwich), work on some excuses ahead of time. It's very nearly impossible to cover one up with make-up.

Admittedly, you could try wearing an eye patch or sporting dark glasses everywhere you go, but then you would have to explain the patch or the shades, especially when you're wearing them to business meetings. White theatrical greasepaint applied liberally to the entire face might work to cover that shiner, but mimes are even less welcome in business meetings than pirates or people with sunshades.
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Want to know more? You can read more tips on this subject, plus information to get rid of practically anything else that ails you - from bad breath to telemarketers to cellulite - at How To Get Rid Of Stuff
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