ZocdocAnswersDid my head injury give me a black eye?

Question

Did my head injury give me a black eye?

Would it be normal for a head injury to cause a black eye? I got clunked in the forehead pretty good by my friend's elbow and the next day I had a black eye but I did not get hit in the eye! Is this normal? Should I go see a doc?

Answer

The tissue around the eyeball is very delicate and it is full of slender veins which very easily burst, causing blood to leak out and creating the 'black eye.' It is pretty common with any blow to the forehead, cheeks, and the like to accidentally rupture some of these blood vessels, causing a black eye, even when the eye was not directly struck. Therefore, I think that it was indeed the elbow to the forehead that caused your black eye! Most of the time a black eye is not a big deal, except of course cosmetically. Generally, the body does a good job healing itself up and the black discoloration will go away slowly over a period of days to weeks. However, I always recommend that anyone who has had a black eye get checked out by their primary care doctor. The purpose of this visit it to make sure that no other damage was done to the eye or to any of the other bones of the face. At this visit, your doctor can also give you some advice on medications you might take to reduce any pain or swelling associated with the injury. I hope you are feeling better soon!

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