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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.

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

Chemical pink eye is not contagious.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

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