The raccoon eyes condition is when you have bruises or dark rings around your eyes. The medical term for it is Periorbital Ecchymosis. The discolouration in such a pattern is characteristic to raccoons - the animals and thus, the name - raccoon eyes.
Now you know the answer to what are raccoon eyes, you ought to know everything about their signs and symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and if possible, the prevention. We’ll discuss all this today in this article and answer the frequently asked questions about the raccoon eyes condition. So, stay tuned and make notes if you must.
To give you some idea, the condition mostly pertains to skull or brain injuries that cause internal bleeding around the eyes, leading to the discolouration. You ought to get diagnosed promptly if you come to have raccoon eyes. That’s because they can cause many complications if left untreated. Also, because the cause is usually head injuries and traumatic accidents, they must be treated by a specialist as soon as possible anyway.
Raccoon Eyes Symptoms or Signs
When it comes to the raccoon eyes symptoms and signs that help you identify the condition, the bruises or discolouration around the eyes is the first and the significant symptom. The discolouration can be of varying colours. Purple, blue, and black are commonly noted and sometimes they are even reddish, as basically it is internal bleeding that they signify.
The internal bleeding on the skin can extend to the forehead, cheeks, or even temples, which is another symptom of the raccoon eyes condition. You may also find bruises behind the ears. These are known by the term ‘battle’s sign’ and make another sign to confirm that you have raccoon eyes.
If the cause of the issue is facial fractures, the bruises won’t feel painful and not even tender. However, in case the cause is something else, you may feel some pain and tenderness.
Apart from these, raccoon eyes have many other symptoms which are usually not so common. For example, you may experience a higher heart rate, hearing loss, red eyes as well. Finding blood behind your eardrums, nosebleeds, swelling around the eyes, and muscular weakness on your face is also possible. Such weakness in the face is a sign of underlying nerve damage that happened due to a traumatic accident, facial fractures, head injury or similar cause.
There is also a chance that you may encounter changes in the vision, say double vision and a weak sense of smell. Such changes in sensory activities need to be looked out for. And if you have them, they add to the confirmation of having raccoon eyes.
What Causes Raccoon Eyes
Basal Skull Fracture
When we talk about the raccoon eyes causes, the prime reason in most cases is basal skull fracture (BSF). Basal is the bottom part of the skull where the brain sits. When this portion gets damaged it can lead to internal bleeding and thus, cause raccoon eyes.
When does the base of the brain get damaged? Well, car accidents, falling from heights, injuries while playing sports and similar trauma reasons can lead to the fractures in the sphenoid bone, occipital bone, temporal bone etc that make the basal skull.
Another cause of raccoon eyes is the breaking of cheekbones, thin bones around the eyes and broken nose. These come under the term of facial injuries which lead to internal bleeding and thus, raccoon eyes.
If someone goes through Rhinoplasty - a plastic surgery procedure that requires the restructuring of the cartilage of the nose and the bone, a risk involves having raccoon eyes.
A craniotomy is another common cause. It involves brain surgery. So, the doctors have to remove and replace a part of the skull to work on the brain. If during the surgery the meninges rupture in some way while handling the skull, it may result in internal bleeding. In case you are not aware, meninges is the connective tissue membrane that connects the spinal cord with the brain.
Allergies are another common cause but the discolouration is not that prominent in such a case. Apart from these, rhabdomyosarcoma, aplastic anaemia, orbital myositis, thrombocytopenia, sinusitis, pertussis, LCDD (light chain deposition disease), and leukaemia are some causes as well.
Diagnosis for the Raccoon Eyes Condition
As soon as you reach the doctor, a physical exam is done to see what can be the cause. The doctors check your bruises with the help of eye movement tests and by touching the surrounding region to see for tenderness, swelling, and pain. Nerve tests are also done at this stage many times.
After getting an idea of what might be the cause, imaging tests are done to check for internal damage. CT scans follow the procedure to check for brain and skull injuries.
Next, the doctor may see if you have similar symptoms for other conditions which need treatment. And then they rule out the conditions. This is known as the raccoon eyes differential diagnosis.
The similar conditions are amyloidosis, Kaposi’s sarcoma, multiple myeloma and neuroblastoma.
What Are Raccoon Eyes a Symptom Of Complications
Wondering what do raccoon eyes indicate, well they can signal to a lot of underlying complications. That’s why it is so necessary to visit the doctor as soon as possible, find the right cause during diagnosis and get the condition treated. The sooner the root cause is treated, the farther away you will be from complications. And if by any chance, the complications do occur, they should be diagnosed at the earliest so that the doctor will help treat them better.
Some of the complications that can follow raccoon eyes are blood in your eyes, in the brain and around, facial palsy and aneurysms. Facial palsy is the inability to control facial muscles. Aneurysms are swelled or wicked regions on the arteries which happen in the brain and can rupture, thus causing internal bleeding and then bruises.
Complications also include forming deformities in the skull or the face. Cerebrospinal fluid leaks, meningitis and fistulas may also occur. The related fistulas imply the abnormal connections that build up between the organs, the veins, and the arteries.
If you have had a brain or head injury, there’s a possibility of post concussive syndrome. This involves loads of headaches, dizziness, fatigue and discomforting ringing in the ears that may last for weeks or months. Insomnia is a part of this syndrome too.
Treatment for Raccoon Eyes
The answer to how do you get rid of raccoon eyes lies in nature. All you need is some time and proper nourishment to help the body heal the eyes naturally.
In case you have any deformities as a complication from raccoon eyes that you want to fix you can opt for cosmetic surgery. Complications like that of meningitis and aneurysm need some proper monitoring and treatment. For Cerebrospinal fluid leaks, you will need surgery to fix them.
The fractures like a basal skull fracture or facial fractures can be treated with surgeries. The doctors may use protective plates and related devices to treat the damage and prevent further damage from happening.
People who have developed raccoon eyes like dark rings due to neuroblastoma or certain cancers will have to get this cause treated first and the raccoon eyes should then go away naturally.
How to Get Rid of Raccoon Eyes Naturally
As already said, raccoon eyes don’t need any special treatment, rather what causes them needs the treatment. And raccoon eyes get healed naturally. But using some raccoon eyes home remedies, you can speed up the process of natural healing.
Some natural and nourishing stuff that you can apply around the bruises on your eyes are cucumber, rose water, tomatoes, cold tea bags, cold milk, potatoes, orange juice, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, and turmeric. All these will help reduce the discolouration, the tenderness, swelling, and pain.
You can also use a cold compress. It works on black eyes too. And focus on consuming more nourishing foods like salmon, dark chocolate and water. Yes, good clean water is one of the best things for your body.
Also, reduce the consumption of alcohol and salt to ensure your body isn’t dehydrating.
How to Get Rid of Raccoon Eyes After Tanning
Now, this is a frequently asked question that has nothing to do with the eye condition of raccoon eyes that we have been talking about in this article.
When you have a good tanning session, but wear sunglasses during it, there will be a non tanned region around your eyes which will look similar to that of the raccoon. But these won’t be dark, rather pale in comparison to your tanned skin. And that’s why the better term to talk about them is ‘Sunbed raccoon eyes. This is no disease like the raccoon eyes we have been talking about, yet we will answer how to get rid of raccoon eyes from tanning beds.
A simple makeup application - say a foundation of the same colour as your tan will help you fix the sunbed raccoon eyes.
The Bottom Line
Raccoon eyes happen due to fractures or trauma in the head caused by accidents, falls etc. The best way is to try to prevent such accidents. How do you do that? Take care of yourself. Be very careful of your movement.
To take care of your eyes all the time, you can get a pair of eyeglasses that will become a slight barrier between what comes hitting your head. If you don’t have any need for a prescription, you can always go for fake or non-prescription glasses. Specscart provides you with fashionable eyeglasses at the most affordable prices, that score superbly high on quality and comfort as well. This way you won’t have to invest a fortune and still be able to protect your eyes. Additionally, the designer glasses will accentuate your charm and help you stand class apart.
That’s not all, the glasses at Specscart also come with fully loaded lenses that have protective coatings. These include the anti-UV coating, the anti-glare coating and the scratch-resistant one. Since UV light is pretty harmful to your eyes and can cause diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts etc, you ought to be careful about it.
The sunglasses at Specscart come with advanced anti-reflective UV X-pro coatings that save from both UVA and UVB light from the sun. Thus, saving you from diseases that may even lead to vision loss.
You can choose the digital blue light protection option while buying your glasses at Specscart to turn them into anti-blue light glasses. This way your pair of eyeglasses will also save you from the demon of blue light which is responsible for computer vision syndrome i.e,. the regular headaches, eye strains, blurry vision and dry eyes. This blue light from the digital devices we are addicted to, is also the reason for insomnia in many people. It is also said that it raises your chances of having depression, and physical health problems like diabetes and obesity, obesity, by the way, is known as the mother of all diseases.
Another way for you to take care of your eyes is through photochromic lenses in your glasses. These absorb UV light from the surroundings and change their tint according to the intensity of the UV light around. So, when you get outdoors your eyeglass tints will turn darker and when you come back indoors they will turn back clear. Thus, saving you the hassle of handling two pairs of eyewear - one set of eyeglasses and another of sunglasses.
Specscart makes sure your budget doesn’t come in between you and the health of your eyes. That’s why services like shipping and home trials for eyeglasses are free. Yes, you can choose up to 4 frames for 7 days and try the eyeglass frames at the comfort of your home.
Also, if you want you can get a comprehensive eye test at your home or get a free one with a visit to the store.
So, get going and start looking for your favourite frames on our website to help yourself against eye problems.