May also be called: Bruise; Black Eye

A contusion (kun-TOO-zhun) of the eye is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue of the eye. Most people call this injury a black eye.

More to Know

A contusion, or bruise, forms when soft tissue in the body is crushed but the skin doesn't break. When this happens, blood from broken capillaries (small blood vessels) near the skin's surface may leak out under the skin. With no place to go, the blood gets trapped, often forming a red or purplish mark that hurts when you touch it.

As a contusion heals, it may turn different colors, from red and purple to black and blue and then to green, yellow, and light brown before fading away.

Keep in Mind

Eye injuries should be evaluated by your doctor. Applying a cold compress to the injured eye may help minimize swelling and bruising. Seek medical attention if a contusion doesn't heal or continues to be painful.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Back to Articles


Related Articles

Word! Bruise

When you bang a part of your body against something, your skin might turn different colors where you bumped it.

Read More

First Aid & Safety Center

Boo-boos, bug bites, and broken bones - oh my! Here's your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about how to keep kids safe.

Read More

Bruises

This article is all about bruises, including why they happen, how to make them go away faster, and why they turn all those funny colors.

Read More

Dealing With Sports Injuries

You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them.

Read More

First Aid: Eye Injuries

Some eye injuries can be treated at home, while others require a visit to the doctor or emergency room. Find out what to do if your child has eye pain.

Read More

First-Aid Kit

A well-stocked first-aid kit, kept in easy reach, is a necessity in every home. Learn where you should keep a kit and what to put in it.

Read More

Eye Injuries

You can treat many minor eye irritations by flushing the eye, but more serious injuries require medical attention.

Read More

Preventing Children's Sports Injuries

Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.

Read More

What's a Bruise?

Have you ever had a bruise that turned a bunch of different colors before it went away? Find out why in this article for kids.

Read More

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

Search our entire site.