Inhalation of bleach can cause severe internal damage, including deterioration of the esophagus lining and lungs. Scarring of the respiratory tract can also occur. While these effects may not occur with each incidence of inhalation, it is best to consult a doctor if experiencing symptom of coughing and breathing difficulty.
Your doctor may advise a blood gas, CT scan of the chest, lung function tests and x-ray of the chest to determine how severely the lungs are effected. Treatment is focused on reducing symptoms. Oxygen therapy may be helpful. Corticosteroids can be given to reduce inflammation. Antibiotics are usually not helpful or needed.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.