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How to Reduce Puffiness From a Black Eye

After trauma to the face, you may be left with a black eye. Get medical treatment immediately if your vision is affected or you are bleeding through your nose. Otherwise, most black eyes -- which are basically bruises around the eye -- are not serious and can be treated at home. Your first priority is to reduce the swelling and puffiness, and you can accomplish this with a few home remedies.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Fill a clean washcloth or towel with ice and apply it to the area surrounding the eye. Apply the compress every hour or two for two days following the injury. The sooner you apply the ice, the more effective the compress will be in reducing swelling and puffiness. Do not apply pressure to the eye area with the ice.

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Take acetaminophen to help reduce the pain and swelling associated with a black eye. Take a dose every four hours as needed, or as recommended on the medication label.

Prop your head up with an extra pillow at night to help reduce fluid accumulation around the eye. Keeping your head elevated will facilitate drainage in the eye area to help reduce swelling.

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Sleep on the opposite side of the injury. Sleeping on the black eye can place pressure on the eye, which can increase swelling. Instead, sleep on your back or on the healthy eye side 12.


Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce swelling and pain from a black eye, as these can increase bleeding.


Consult a doctor if the eye is bloodshot or contains blood.