(See also Overview of Eye Injuries Overview of Eye Injuries The structure of the face and eyes is well suited for protecting the eyes from injury. The eyeball is set into the orbit, a socket surrounded by a strong, bony ridge. The eyelids close quickly... read more .)
The blood usually drains toward the bottom of the eyelid after a day or two, resulting in swelling and discoloration just below the lower eyelid. Black eyes themselves usually have no effect on vision, although other eye injuries that accompany them may be serious.
Black eyes resolve without treatment after a few days or weeks. During the first 24 to 48 hours, ice packs may help reduce swelling and ease the pain of a black eye.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen) or acetaminophen can be given if the pain is significant. However, people who have bleeding within the eye should probably use acetaminophen and not use NSAIDs, which may worsen bleeding.