Symptoms of inhaling bleach fumes include gagging, throat pain, coughing, chest pain and low blood pressure, according to the National Institutes of Health. Additional symptoms include vomiting, skin irritation, coma and shock.
Bleach fumes can affect various parts of the body, including the lungs and airways, the mouth and throat, the nose, the chest, the skin and the stomach, according to the NIH. A condition known as chemical pneumonitis also can result from breathing chlorine gas, which is the byproduct of chlorine bleach, according to The New York Times. Symptoms of chemical pneumonitis include trouble with breathing, coughing, unusual sounds in the lungs and burning in the chest. The condition can result from low exposure to chlorine gas over long periods of time. Without treatment, the condition can lead to loss of the ability to breathe and eventual death.
An individual who experiences symptoms after inhaling fumes from bleach should be moved to an area with fresh air and needs immediate medical assistance, the NIH notes. Skin or eyes affected by the chemical should be rinsed with water for 15 minutes or more. Medical treatment for inhaled bleach fumes includes insertion of a breathing tube, provision of oxygen and use of a camera inserted through the throat to view damage to the lungs and airways.