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How should I treat a black eye? 

A black eye is caused by blood pooling under the skin when an injury occurs. Eventually, the blood will be reabsorbed in the body but it may take several days. Most black eyes do not indicate serious injury and can be cared for by placing an ice pack wrapped in cloth around the eye area as soon as you can after the injury occurs. Avoid placing the pack directly on the eyeball and instead place it just above or below the eye. This will help to reduce swelling. Continue using the ice pack for the next 24-48 hours to reduce swelling.

If your eye has been injured enough to cause a black eye, you should probably see an eye doctor as soon as possible to check for other, possibly serious injuries.

To schedule an appointment with an East Jefferson General Hospital optometrist, call HealthFinder at 504-456-5000 or visit us online at

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