Black eye healing stages: Timeline and tips

A black eye typically heals on its own, without the need for medical attention. There are several ways to help ease the pain and speed up the healing process.

A black eye is a bruise that develops around the eye, usually in response to a blow to the head or face.

Below, we explore the healing stages of a black eye and give some tips for a quicker recovery. We also describe when to see a doctor about this and other types of bruising.

A black eye is a bruise around the eye area. Like other bruises, it occurs when tiny blood vessels beneath the skin rupture, causing blood to pool in surrounding tissues.

Most black eyes form following blows to the eye area, which is delicate. Because the skin around the eye is thin, blood pooling there creates a noticeable bruise.

Black eyes and other types of bruise change color as they heal. The four stages of healing are:

  • Stage 1: Oxygen-rich blood pools at the site of the injury, creating a bump that may appear red or purple.
  • Stage 2: The body begins to break down a component of the blood called hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. As the pooled blood loses oxygen, the bruise may turn blue or purple due to the creation of the compounds bilirubin and biliverdin.
  • Stage 3: The body continues to break down the pooled blood. After 5–10 days, the bruise may turn green or yellow in a person with lighter skin.
  • Stage 4: Between 10 and 14 days later, the bruise may be light brown or the color may not be noticeable.

It is highly unlikely that a black eye will go away within 24 hours. Generally, bruises are dark for at least a few days.

The time needed for healing depends on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the bruise: A small bruise typically heals faster.
  • The person’s age: Older people tend to have weaker blood vessels and thinner skin — and each can increase a person’s susceptibility to bruising and delay healing.
  • Certain underlying health issues: The following medical conditions can also increase a person’s susceptibility to bruising and delay healing:
    • infections
    • certain nutrient deficiencies
    • blood clotting disorders
  • Whether the person is taking certain medications: The following medications can increase a person’s susceptibility to bleeding and bruising:
    • blood-thinning medications
    • steroids, such as prednisone
    • certain anticancer drugs

A person can use the following strategies to speed up the healing process:

Applying ice

Wrap an ice pack in a towel and rest it gently against the eye for 10 minutes at a time, with at least 20 minutes between each application. This will help reduce immediate swelling.

Never apply ice or an ice pack directly to the skin, as it can cause skin damage.

Applying heat

Once the bruise has fully developed, applying gentle heat will boost blood flow to the area, helping to speed healing.

To do this, try soaking a cotton pad in warm water and applying it to the bruise.

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Timeline of the week leading up to COVID-19 outbreak in Pence orbit

Vice President Mike Pence is committed to spending the final seven days of the 2020 election on the campaign trail, despite the fact that an outbreak of the coronavirus has struck his inner circle, including one of his closest confidants, Chief of Staff Marc Short. Seeing the busy schedule Pence and his team have kept up with, it’s possible the virus may have spread well beyond the confines of his office.

Mike Pence wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a flag: Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a campaign stop at the Hibbing, Minn., Airport, Oct. 26, 2020.

© Jack Rendulich/AP
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a campaign stop at the Hibbing, Minn., Airport, Oct. 26, 2020.

In the last week, Pence has crisscrossed the country to over half a dozen states, holding 12 campaign rallies and two private events. He also cast his early vote in person while back home in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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ABC News has confirmed that along with Short, at least four others close to the vice president have tested positive for COVID-19 — and some are known to have accompanied Pence on his trips across the county. Other people in Pence’s inner circle who have tested positive include his top political aide, Marty Obst, and his bodyman, Zach Bauer. At least two others are now isolating after testing positive.

MORE: Here’s everyone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 in connection to the White House

Still, Pence’s press secretary, Devin O’Malley, said in a statement that Pence will not be quarantining after coming into close contact with Short, and will instead continue his jam-packed campaign schedule — a move that has worried experts.

Dr. John Brownstein, a Harvard epidemiologist and ABC News contributor, said that Pence “clearly meets the CDC definition” of COVID-19 exposure and should voluntarily be in quarantine.

“With even just one positive staffer, the VP should have put himself in a 14-day quarantine, especially as it relates to non-essential activities like political rallies,” Brownstein said. “The public should be worried if the vice president continues his intense travel schedule, which is counter to all public health guidelines. Negative tests do not change the need to adhere to quarantine.”

But Pence is carrying on with his schedule, with stops planned in North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada through Thursday.

Mike Pence et al. wearing costumes: Vice President Mike Pence greets supporters after his "Make America Great Again!" campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Oct. 22, 2020.

© Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images
Vice President Mike Pence greets supporters after his “Make America Great Again!” campaign event at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Oct. 22, 2020.

Here’s a look at all the places Pence has traveled to and the people he’s traveled with over the past week.

Monday, Oct. 19 Pence held two “Make America Great Again” rallies to start the week. One took place in Hermon, Maine, where Pence spoke to a few hundred people in an outdoor setting. Later that afternoon, he spoke at a rally inside an air hangar in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

Short, Obst and Bauer, Pence’s bodyman, both accompanied the vice president on the trip, along with spokeswoman Katie Miller, who tested positive for the coronavirus in May and whose husband, Stephen Miller, tested positive on Oct. 6.


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Alameda County Moves Up Timeline To Reopen Restaurants And More

ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA — Alameda County will allow restaurants, worship houses, theaters, indoor retail and malls to serve customers indoors beginning Friday, with safety restrictions.

The following services will be able to take place indoors as of Friday:

  • restaurants (25 percent capacity or 100 people; whichever is less)

  • worship houses (25 percent capacity or 100 people; whichever is less)

  • theaters (25 percent capacity or 100 people; whichever is less)

  • indoor retail and malls (half-capacity and with limited food court services)

  • gyms and fitness centers (25 percent capacity; no indoor pools allowed)

  • weddings and funerals (25 percent capacity or 100 people; whichever is less)

The county will also allow outdoor non-contact fitness classes of up to 20 people, including the instructor.

County health officials announced that Alameda County will come into alignment with the state’s new guidance on gatherings, which says people may engage in outdoor gatherings with a stable group of up to three households. People of different households must stay six feet from each other and wear face coverings when not eating or drinking.

Stable and decreased case, positivity and hospitalization rates prompted the county to enact the changes and reopen more sectors earlier than previously scheduled, officials said Wednesday in a news release.

“A few days should have little impact on local disease conditions,” said Alameda County Public Health Department spokesperson Neetu Balram in an email.

The news is welcome to restaurant owners such as Todd Utikal of Pleasanton’s SideTrack Bar + Grill, who has lost business due to high wait times to seat customers outdoors. Now, he’ll be able to seat another 35 people at his restaurant.

“We’re totally ready,” he said.

The move comes a week after the county moved into the orange tier, which indicates a moderate COVID-19 risk level. This is the second-best tier on the state’s four-tiered, color-coded risk system.

The state will allow restaurants in orange-tier counties to serve customers indoors at half-capacity or up to 200 people — whichever is fewer — but counties can always enact stricter restrictions. Red-tier counties may allow indoor dining at 25 percent capacity or up to 100 people; whichever is fewer.

Alameda County once more declined to allow indoor dining after its move into the orange tier, but announced that on Oct. 26, it would allow indoor reopenings of certain indoor services under red tier-level restrictions.

Restaurant owners were pleased to hear that the county moved up the deadline to allow indoor dining on a Friday instead of Monday, which allows them to benefit from business over the weekend, said Utikal.

Utikal is part of the Tri-Valley Restaurant Group, a cohort of more than 80 restaurant owners in Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore that was formed during the pandemic.

Restaurant owners are confident that this will be a good thing, partly because they’ve had the benefit of watching restaurants in other counties reopen first, Utikal said. Restaurants are hiring back staff in preparation for Friday’s reopenings.

Though restaurants will be limited in the number

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From the pandemic declaration to the fall surge, here’s a timeline of Covid-19 in the USd

Experts say the fall Covid-19 surge is here. Infections and hospitalizations are rising across the country. And one leading health official says daily Covid-19 deaths could soon begin climbing, too.

a man wearing a costume: Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. (Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

© Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images
Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. (Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

The alarming trends come ahead of a season that will likely be especially challenging. Students across the country have returned to class and college students — some of whom live in campuses that reported Covid-19 outbreaks — will soon return to visit their families and could unknowingly bring the virus back with them. And Covid-19 will also be stacked up against the flu season and could create what doctors call a “twin-demic.”


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What happens next is unclear. But here’s how we got here:

On April 10, about a month after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the US hit its first high point during the pandemic, peaking at an average of a little more than 31,800 daily cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country also eclipsed more than half a million Covid-19 infections.

Cases were clustered mostly in New York, with other, smaller outbreaks in places such as Washington state, Louisiana and Illinois. Around that time, New York state had more infections than any other country in the world, with more than 160,000 cases. As of October 16, the state has reported more than 481,000 infections.

By June 9, the US had flattened the curve and was averaging about 20,340 new cases daily, Johns Hopkins data showed. States were opening back up after weekslong lockdowns that were put in place to help curb the spread of the virus.

With the easing of measures, more Americans began to venture outside and images and videos emerged of parties and other gatherings with no social distancing and few masks in sight.

By July 22, the nation reached its highest peak of the pandemic, to date, averaging more than 67,000 cases daily. The US was seeing huge spikes in cases in the West and South.

The case surges came weeks after crowds celebrated the July 4 holiday. Across the country, local officials warned more young people were testing positive and helping drive the increase in infections.

Arizona, Florida, California, Texas and Georgia were adding thousands of cases per day. Experts called Florida the epicenter of the pandemic and by the end of the month, more than four dozen hospitals across the state were reporting full ICUs.

By September 12, the summer peak had slipped down to a little more than 34,300 average new cases daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins. That baseline was higher than what it was in the spring and experts warned Americans should work to lower it as the nation was heading into the colder fall and winter months.


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