According to Root Eye Network, bleach in the eyes can cause mild irritation or severe chemical burns, depending on how quickly the issue is addressed. Redness of the conjunctiva or clear eye membrane indicates minimal damage, while whiteness of the conjunctiva signifies severe trauma. It is important for individuals with bleach burns to seek immediate medical attention as untreated burns can lead to scarring of the conjunctiva.
WebMD explains that chemical bleach burns are also referred to as alkali burns. While initial symptoms may be mild, alkali burns can cause significant damage if left untreated, so it is important to flush the affected area with water for 15 to 30 minutes and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Treatments for chemical eye burns include salt water flushes and optical anesthetics.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important for individuals suffering from chemical eye burns to refrain from rubbing their eyes as this can lead to additional trauma. Sufferers should also wash their hands immediately to ensure that there are no lingering chemicals on the skin. Parents of young children with bleach burns can minimize discomfort when flushing the eyes by pouring a light amount of lukewarm water onto their children's foreheads, allowing it to enter slowly and flush out the eyes.