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Heal That Shiner

Tips for bouncing back from a black eye

If you play contact sports, or any sport where accidents happen (or you're just a jerk to people), you're likely to end up with a black eye sooner or later. Don't hold a steak on it or walk around for two weeks with people asking, "Who kicked your ass?" Instead, treat it with the tips below.

Use a cold compress.
To be safe, you should see an eye doctor first, as there could be swelling or bleeding in the back of the eye. However, assuming the black eye is just a bruise as the result of blunt trauma, ice it. "[A bag of] frozen peas is good because it conforms to the shape of the eye," says Harvey Moscot, O.D., owner of Moscot Eyecare in New York City.

Elevate your head.
Try propping your battered noggin up on some soft pillows when you go to bed. This way, "you won't get pooling of the blood and aggravate the inflammation," says Moscot.

Take vitamin C.
"Its antioxidative effects make it heal quicker," says Moscot.

With treatment, a black eye should get better in a week to 10 days, Moscot says. Contrary to the old wives' tale, holding a steak against your eye won't help, and over-the-counter topicals like vitamin K cream aren't proven effective. To prevent future black eyes, get protective eyewear like polycarbonate (shatterproof) goggles.

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