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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.

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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 31, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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