Chemical Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

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Chemical Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Topic Overview

Chemical pink eye (conjunctivitis) or toxic pink eye is caused by getting smoke, liquids, fumes, or chemicals in the eye. Flushing the eye with running water must be done immediately to remove the toxic chemical or liquid.

Mild pink eye can be caused by the chlorine in swimming pools. Most people don't need treatment. After the eye is rinsed free of the toxic substance, artificial tears or ointment may be used to decrease the redness and irritation.

Symptoms of serious pink eye caused by a toxic substance include:

  • Severe pain.
  • Decreased vision.
  • Redness.
  • Large amounts of swelling.

Pink eye from a chemical or toxic substance needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Chemical pink eye is not contagious.

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Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised January 28, 2010

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