Pink eye is an infection of the covering of the eyes (conjunctiva) caused mostly by viruses. However other things can make your eyes red. One of these conditions goes by the tongue twister chemical conjunctivitis. What happens here is that a chemical gets into the eyes and from there irritates the eyes and voila your eyes become red, itchy and painful.
Almost any chemical can create enough inflammation to cause chemical conjunctivitis. And the chemical does not need to be splashed on to the eyes. It can be in the air in the form of a fine mist or a gas.
If the chemical happens to spill into your eyes, you should immediately wash your eyes out with water-lots of water. This will dilute out the chemical hopefully before even more damage is done. Once the eyes are irrigated, you should see your doctor or go to the ER right away. This is not something which you should wait until the next day. Certain chemicals can remain in the eyes and continue to damage deeper structures. This is especially true for acid and bases.
Minor chemical eye exposure does not cause blurry, double vision or severe pain. if these symptoms occur, it could mean that other structures in the eye have been damaged.
Sometimes the irritation can last for several days even weeks. Remember to always wear protective goggles in areas at home or work where there is a risk of chemical exposure