Facial Bruise with Sleep Monitoring

A bruise (contusion) happens when small blood vessels break open and leak blood into the nearby area. A facial bruise can result from a bump, hit, or fall. This may happen during sports or an accident. Symptoms of a bruise often include changes in skin color, swelling, and pain. 

Because the injury was to your face, it could have caused a mild brain injury (concussion) or even more rarely severe brain injury, such as internal bleeding. Symptoms of concussion can show up later, even 10 or more days later. For this reason, you need to watch for symptoms of concussion and more severe brain injury once you're home. You need someone to wake you up during the night to check for the symptoms listed below.

The swelling from the contusion should decrease in a few days. Bruising and pain may take several weeks to go away. 

Home care

Sleep monitoring

Someone must stay with you for the next 24 hours (or longer, if directed). This person should wake you up every 2 hours to check for signs of a brain injury. These include:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting (more than 1 episode)

  • Dizziness or balance problems

  • Confusion

  • Severe headache, or one that gets worse

  • Memory loss

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Drowsiness. This may be normal when awakened from a deep sleep in the middle of the night.

  • Irritability

  • Trouble speaking or communicating

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Depression

If any of these symptoms develop at any time, get medical care right away. If no symptoms are noted during the first 24 hours, continue watching for symptoms for the next 1 to 2 weeks. Symptoms typically occur in the first day. But in rare cases, they can appear later on. After the first 24 hours, you don't need to be awakened during your usual sleep time. Ask your provider if someone should stay with you during this time. 

General care

  • If you have been prescribed medicines for pain, take them as directed.

  • To help reduce swelling and pain from the contusion, wrap a cold pack or bag of frozen peas in a thin towel. Put it on the injured area for up to 20 minutes. Do this a few times a day until the swelling goes down. 

  • If you have scrapes or cuts on your face needing stitches or other closures, care for them as directed.

  • For the next 24 hours or longer if instructed:

    • Don’t drink alcohol or use sedatives or medicines that make you sleepy.

    • Don’t drive or operate machinery.

    • Don't do anything strenuous. Don’t lift or strain.

    • Don't return to sports or other activity that could result in another head injury.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed. 

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Swelling or pain that gets worse, not better

  • New swelling or pain

  • Warmth or drainage from the swollen area or from cuts or scrapes

  • Fluid drainage or bleeding from the nose or ears

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

Call 911

Call 911 if any of the following occur: 

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Unusual drowsiness or unusual trouble awakening

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Seizure (convulsion)

  • Confusion, memory loss, dizziness, headache, behavior, speech, or vision that gets worse

  • One pupil (black part in the middle of the eye) is larger than the other

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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