We call a black eye what in medical terms is called a periorbital hematoma, that is, an accumulation of blood in the tissues surrounding the eye.

Red or purple eyes are the result of trauma or blow with an object. They can also arise after plastic surgery and even a skull fracture can give rise to two black eyes, known as "raccoon eyes".

What can you do?

In the face of a red/purple eye, it is always important to see an ophthalmology specialist as soon as possible to assess the severity of the injury, since there could be a fracture of the orbital bones, which are those that surround the eye. A collection of blood outside the eye (hyposphagma/subconjunctival haemorrhage) and within the eye (hyphema) can also occur, affecting vision.

We recommend not doing home treatments of any kind and going as soon as possible to an ophthalmological emergency service for a complete vision examination and study, as well as for both extra and intraocular assessment.


One way to reduce the risk of getting a red/black eye from a blow is to wear safety glasses at work and when playing sports.

Dr. Guillermo Agustín Rizzo, ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre