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Chemical Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)

Topic Overview

Chemical pinkeye (conjunctivitis) or toxic pinkeye 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 pinkeye 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 pinkeye 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 pinkeye is not contagious.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: October 19, 2020

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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