Raccoon eyes is a condition defined by bruising around both eyes. The bruises appear as darkened patches bordering the eyes the same as raccoons.
It is important to note that raccoon eyes might be a sign of a serious condition linked to a brain or skull injury. Immediate diagnosis is vital in lowering the risk for complications.
What are the causes?
- Raccoon eyes is often brought about by a basal skull fracture. The basal region of the skull is the bottom section where the brain rests. Once a fracture occurs, signs including raccoon eyes might follow.
- Another possible cause is damage to the thin bones that border the eyes. Take note that this can result from facial injuries.
- Broken nose or cheekbones are other causes.
Remember that raccoon eyes might not arise right after an injury. If the swelling of the head or face lingers for a few days, raccoon eyes might follow soon.
What are the signs?
The indications of raccoon eyes include bruises which are evident around the eyes. The bruising and adjacent areas are not usually tender or painful, unless the cause is a facial fracture.
The bruises can range from color to red to purple or blue to black. In some cases, they are large enough that they extend beyond the eyes up to the temples, cheeks and forehead.
Other evident signs of raccoon eyes and connected skull fracture include bruising at the back of the ears or “battle’s sign”.
Other less evident signs might include:
- Hearing loss
- Blood behind the eardrum
- High blood pressure
- Diminished sense of smell
- Visual changes or double vision
- Weakness in the face due to nerve damage
Management of raccoon eyes
Basal skull fracture is a usual cause of raccoon eyes that does not usually require treatment. Generally, most cases heal on their own without requiring intervention.
The doctor might deal with other complications once they arise. In some cases, cosmetic surgery might be an option if the individual is worried about deformities.
If there is cerebrospinal fluid leakage, surgery is also required. Other complications such as aneurysm or meningitis require monitoring and follow-up to ensure that they will not worsen.