Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chemical Conjunctivitis Treatment

Treatment for mild chemical conjunctivitis includes continuous eye irrigation with tap water or eyewash solution. It's important that the irrigation also remove any chemical from the surrounding skin of the face. Artificial tears eyedrops may help reduce irritation after irrigation.

Treatment of mild chemical conjunctivitis includes:

  • Removal of the chemical
  • Irrigation with water or eyewash for at least 10 minutes
  • Artificial tears to lubricate the eye

Emergency treatment is required for those who are exposed to strong acids or alkalies, or have ongoing pain after initial irrigation. Treatment requires continuous irrigation with either tap water or an eyewash solution. If possible, irrigation should continue during transport to a hospital.

Hospital care for severe chemical conjunctivitis may include:
  • Continued irrigation
  • Antibiotic eye drops
  • Narcotic pain medication:
    • For moderate to severe pain
    • For short term use only

Continue to Chemical Conjunctivitis Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chemical Conjunctivitis References
  1. Bonini S. Atopic keratoconjunctivitis. Allergy. 2004 Aug;59 Suppl 78:71-3. [15245362]
  2. Lusk PG. Chemical eye injuries in the workplace. Prevention and management. AAOHN J. 1999 Feb;47(2):80-7. [10205367]
  3. Ono SJ, Abelson MB. Allergic conjunctivitis: update on pathophysiology and prospects for future treatment. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jan;115(1):118-22. [15637556]
  4. Stahl JL, Barney NP. Ocular allergic disease. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Oct;4(5):455-9. [15349048]
  5. Wagoner MD. Chemical injuries of the eye: current concepts in pathophysiology and therapy. Surv Ophthalmol. 1997 Jan-Feb;41(4):275-313. [9104767]
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