Ice and cold packs can reduce the pain, swelling, and bleeding of an injury. Cold therapy is usually used immediately after an injury.
For an eye injury, use one of the following methods:
- Ice towel. Wet a towel with cold water and squeeze it until it is just damp. Fold the towel, place it in a plastic bag, and freeze it for 15 minutes. Remove the towel from the bag and place it on the eye. Use this method when an ice pack is too heavy to put on the eye.
- Ice pack. Do not place ice directly on the skin. Place ice in a plastic, leak-proof bag wrapped in a single layer of cloth, such as a towel or washcloth. The ice can be cracked into small pieces to make the pack more flexible.
- Frozen food pack. A small bag of frozen peas or corn wrapped in a towel can also be used.
Do not use chemical cooling packs. If the pack leaks, the chemicals could cause more eye damage. Do not use a raw piece of meat on a black eye.
Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine