A black eye is caused by bleeding into the tissue around the eye. This most often follows trauma. The medical term for this type of bruising is ecchymosis.
Review Date: 5/1/2011 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.