CARE FOR YOUR EYES DURING HOLI…

March 9, 2020 by bapayehospital
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Holi and Rangpanchami are festivals of colour. They signify the end of the cold winter and welcome warmth and gaiety. However, it is upto us to take care that this festive mood is not spoilt by eye injuries caused by colour going into the eye.

 The first type is a mechanical one, due to physical trauma (by hand/finger nails). It could range from a superficial corneal (outer transperant portion of the eye) abrasion, to a large corneal epithelial defect. This causes watering, pain and light sensitivity. It needs to be treated as soon as possible, or else the defect can get infected, leading to permanent scarring and vision loss.
Water balloons hitting the eyes forcefully can also cause blunt trauma and bleeding inside the eye and other dangerous and long lasting damage like formation of cataract with dislocation of crystalline lens, glaucoma, vitreous hemorrhage or even retinal detachment. An eye with severe injury from water balloon may permanently lose vision.
Secondly, the colour could cause allergic reactions to the outer portion of the eye and eye lids (conjunctivitis and dermatitis). These cause itching, redness and swelling.
The third category is of a more serious nature and that is deep chemical burns. Natural colours, made from flower extracts, are not so harmful to the eyes. But chemical colours are also widely used. The colours contain lead oxide, copper sulphate, heavy metals and acids and alkalis. Alkalis, are most harmful and they cause destruction of corneal regenerating cells, causing permanent scarring (white discolouration) and even deeper damage and irreversible shrinking of the entire eye.

So it is very essential for everyone to know the precautions to be taken while enjoying the colours of Holi.

1. Use natural chemical-free colours.
2. Use protective eye wear, such as fibre glasses or sunglasses.
3. Avoid use of large water balloons
4. If colour goes into the eye, do not rub the eyes at all.
5. Wash the face and gently open the eye and see for any cuts or bleeding. If this is present, then seek medical aid immediately without any further home intervention.
6. If there are no cuts, but powder/liquid can be seen in the eye, wash it with clean drinking water, by taking water in clean cupped hands and opening and closing the eye several times in the water. Or wash under a gentle stream of tap water. Do not splash water forcefully on the eyes. If lubricating eye drops (tear substitutes) are available, instill them several times. Do not instill any other over-the-counter drops. Do not try to remove any particles or foreign bodies with handkerchiefs or fingers. Reach an eye doctor immediately. A Family physician could help in the immediate aid, but a thorough eye check up under microscope by an Eye specialist is essential.
7. Do not delay medical aid, thinking that the irritation or pain will go off in a while.
These precautions, if taken on time, can be sight saving, and not let the incidence deprive you of the joy of Holi.
Dr. Bapaye Eye Hospital wishes you all a happy, safe and colourful Holi.
Dr. Charuta Bapaye
Dr. Bapaye Eye hospital, Nashik

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