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What Does It Mean To Be Racoon Eyed?

What Does It Mean To Be Racoon Eyed?

Do you know that there are many products or cosmetics available to actually help treat dark circles which can be a nuisance to some people? While in many cases dark circles can be a harmless condition, conditions such as racoon eyed may actually be more than a harmless condition and often so require treatment from a health centre. What does it mean to be racoon eyed, really?

Racoon eyes are also known as periorbital ecchymosis. This means that there is pooling of blood around the eyes. It is commonly caused by fractures or traumatic injury. The most common cause for this raccoon eyes are the basal skull fractures. This fracture is described as the presence of breaks in the bones of the base of the skull. It is usually caused by traumatic events such as from vehicle accidents or sports injuries. Racoon eyes can be an indicator of 50 to 60% of skull base fractures.

Ironically, racoon eyes do not seem immediately following injury and can be delayed from 1 to 3 days. This may make the raccoon eyed to be missed at first. Apart from basal skull fractures, there are other conditions that can be attributed to racoon eyes. Other conditions includes brain surgery such as craniotomy, nose surgeries such as rhinoplasty, malignancy, severe paediatric adenovirus infection, facial fractures, amyloidosis (abnormal protein known as amyloid accumulates in the body) and minor event such as plucking eyebrows. It is worth noting that most cases of racoon eyes can be said to be stemmed from basal skull fracture. This makes this condition to be the top priority of concern when a patient comes in with raccoon eyes.

Due to the fact that there are many reasons that may be associated with racoon eyes, it is best for those with racoon eyes to get checked by a health professional immediately when it appears. Apart from the bruising around the eyes, there are many symptoms that can be seen with racoon eyes. This includes swelling of the eyelids, discoloration around the eyes, tenderness around the eyes and red eye. Since basal skull fracture is often related to raccoon eyes, symptoms such as Battle’s sign can be found. Battle’s sign is bruising of the entire backside of the ear.

Why do racoon eyes can be a great issue or concern? This is because there are many other injuries or complications that may come with such as injury to the eyeballs and injury to the nerve such as the cranial nerve such as I, II, III, IV and VI or cervical spine. It may also be linked with brain injury such as diffuse axonal injury. Later stage of brain infection known as meningitis may also be associated with raccoon eyes. All of these injuries are only some examples of the injuries that can be found with those with racoon eyes. These injuries are certainly not a simple matter as it can be causing serious disability or lasting condition to the person having raccoon eyes.

When a person presents with raccoon eyes, health professionals will typically ask about the history of trauma, nose discharge that is suspected as cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea and if there are visual difficulties. Physical examination will focus on testing eye function including movement and other nerve function. Imaging tests such as CT scan can be considered as the most common ways of identifying the cause for the raccoon eyes.

While racoon eyes itself may not require treatment, it is often the cause which will be needing the treatment. Racoon eyes itself should resolve within 2 to 3 weeks as the blood products that were once pooled are gradually degraded. Certainly this could only occur when the cause of the raccoon eyes are addressed. Treatment provided will be based on the cause found for the raccoon eyes. For example, in the case of basal skull fracture or craniotomy, surgery is the best way to treat it. Malignancy will be treated similar to cancers in general. In amyloidosis, treatment may involve reducing the number of the amyloid circulating in the body.

In essence, raccoon eyes that are often called as black eye are caused by the pooling of blood around the eyes. Most commonly it is caused by basal skull fractures. Raccoon eyes may take up to 3 days before it can be seen vividly which makes it be missed at first visit to the emergency room. Racoon eyes are more than just the appearance of the black eyes as it can be associated with other symptoms. Racoon eyes should not be considered a harmless condition, especially after a history or traumatic events as it can be causing complications or other injuries that need to be checked and treated. Racoon eyes in general can go away by themselves when the cause for the issue is treated. Black eye that seems to bother a person should always be checked by doctors.