Everyone in India looks forward to celebrate the festival of colours, Holi. Every one gears up to celebrate the riot of colors and make it an enchanting experience with the gulal, rang pichkaris, song & dance and a sumptuous meal.
Earlier Holi was played with colors made of plant and flower extracts. But over the years, chemicals and other toxic substances have slowly replaced natural colors. Apart from causing irritation to the eyes, these synthetic colors might also lead to temporary blindness and permanent blindness in certain cases.This colourful festival can only be a better day of fun and frolic when we play it with safety measures.
Some probable damages caused to the eyes during Holi and their solutions are as follows:
1 ) Photo Phobia: If toxic colors get into your eyes, they turn red, burn and swell up sometimes resulting in photo phobia.
Solution: Wash your eyes time and again in water at normal temperature. If that does not solve the problem, visit your nearby eye specialist immediately.
2) Retinal Detachment: If your eyes are hit by balloons full of colour, your eye balls may get severely damaged or it may lead to retinal detachment.
Solution: Don’t try to wash your eyes as it may cause infection. Keep your eyes closed and visit your nearby eye hospital.
3) Corneal Abrasion: The granular particles, which make the colours shine brightly are actually quite toxic and can cause damage to the cornea in the form of a corneal abrasion. A person who gets a corneal abrasion will have severe pain and watering and if not treated by an en expert may develop an ulcer or infection.Solution: Gently rinse your eye with clean water or a sterile saline solution. But do not rub the eye while rinsing it.
Solution: Gently rinse your eye with clean water or a sterile saline solution. But do not rub the eye while rinsing it.
The precautionary measures to be taken during Holi to safeguard your eyes are as follows:
– Cover Your Eyes: The first step is to protect your eyes. If someone smears colour on your face, the first thing you should do is close your eyes.Better is to cover your eyes with your palms.
– Apply a Good Cream: Apply a cold cream around your eyes to avoid getting any colour in your eye. The cold cream acts a shield from the Holi colours.
– Wearing Contact Lenses: First and foremost, avoid wearing contact lenses while playing Holi. If you cannot do without it, then make sure you avoid getting colour into your eye. If colour does get into your eye, discard the lenses and wash your eyes with clean water.
– Shade Your Eyes: The next best eye care tip for Holi is to wear a pair of sunglasses while playing Holi. This will protect your eyes from the colour as well as coloured water.
– Avoid Rubbing: If colour gets into your eyes, the first thing you should do is rinse your eyes. If there is any irritation avoid rubbing the eye at any cost. Rubbing the eye will aggravate the situation.
– Coconut oil protection: Before you play Holi, rub natural coconut oil around your eye. Just like cream, coconut oil will also avoid the colour from entering your eye. This is one of the best eye care tips to follow when playing Holi.
Natural colours made from home-based products are a much better and safer option to play Holi. These can be easily made and offers a safer option as compared to the synthetic colours. Haldi mixed with besan or flour can give a yellow colour and work as a face-mask at the same time. White petals of Palash flower can be used to obtain a saffron colour. Beetroot soaked in water provides a bright magenta colour. Henna powder, gulmohar and hibiscus flowers, etc can also be used to make different colours.
Article written By
Dr. Aditya Pradhan
Dr.Aditya Pradhan MBBS, MS, Fellowship in Cornea
Consultant in the Dept. of Cataract & Cornea