The beautiful festival of colors brings joy to our lives! But unfortunately, it also brings a lot of patients to the emergency room due to eye injuries.
I am sure you are all geared up for this beautiful Indian festival of colors. Of course you’ve stacked up your favorite set of color powders, and armed with water guns to enjoy with your friends.
However, there’s something I thought you must know.
The eye emergency room is always busy during Holi, because we see an unusual rise in the number of patients seeking medical help.
Most of the eye injuries occur due to colors made up of harmful chemicals. These chemicals when come in contact with our eyes can cause damage to the tissues, causing the patient severe pain and loss of vision.
Let me share a few tips to protect your eyes this Holi
1. Avoid toxic colors
Use only natural, eco-friendly colors that are safe for your skin and eyes while playing Holi.
Colors made up of toxic chemicals can cause serious injuries to your eyes that may lead to loss of vision. Your eyesight is one of God’s most precious gifts and nothing is worth risking it, right? Just be careful about the quality of colors you choose and you’ll be just fine.
Especially if you are known to have an allergy tendency, you need to be very careful regarding what material the colors are made up of.
2. Water balloons are a big NO!
Children especially are quite fascinated by the deal of hurling water filled balloons at one another. This has to be strongly discouraged. If the balloon hit’s another person’s eye, the impact can cause a blinding injury.
Balloons are dangerous and should be completely avoided.
3. Avoid contact lenses
In the event of an accidental color splash in your eye, having a contact lens on will only make it worse. Removing the lens later on could be extremely difficult and painful. Instead, use your glasses. You will not just get a clear vision, but also the spectacles frame will protect your eyes from any direct splash.
4. Wear protective glasses
I know this may sound a bit absurd. You’ll say “Wearing protective glasses? Who does that?”
Well, wearing protective glasses hasn’t been practiced widely, but hey, we can start something new for the good, can’t we?
You could wear zero power glasses or even sunglasses to prevent a direct color splash in your eyes.
5. Keep your hands off your eyes
The face is the most targeted area while playing Holi and it is not unusual to have color smeared all over your face and eyelids too! Of course it is a fun experience, but if you touch or rub your eyes smeared with color, you risk pushing some of it into your eyes which can lead to strong irritation and burning in the eyes and in some cases, injury to your eyes.
So remember, hands off your eyes!
What to do if you accidentally get color into your eyes?
This is the most important part of today’s post.
First of all, move away to a safer surrounding and splash your eyes with water. Plain tap water is fine. At eye hospitals, we usually use a sterile irrigating solution such as Normal Saline or Ringer Lactate to wash the eye, but if you don’t have these with you, plain water is just fine.
Time is of the essence! The longer the color stays in your eye, the higher the chance of injury to your eye. Wash out the color as quickly as you can.
Next step is to rush to an eye hospital. You might wonder, if I’ve washed out all of the color, do I still need to go to the hospital?
The answer is yes. The reason being, colors used while playing Holi are particulate powders. Powders tend to form clumps and get stuck under your eyelids. At an eye hospital, a doctor will evert your eyelids and thoroughly examine your eyes to make sure there is no trace of color left in your eye.
Curious to know, what would happen if a little bit of color clump was left behind in your eye? The clump of power lodged under your eyelid would slowly keep releasing the chemical and would cause gradual damage to your eye, and you may not realize it before it is too late. Please understand that eyes are extremely delicate organs and most of the times, injury caused to eyes does not heal completely. So you don’t want to take any risks, do you?
I hope through today’s post, I’ve helped you understand the importance of protecting your eyes, while you enjoy the joyous and colorful festival.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at email@example.com
Here’s Dr. Neha Pednekar wishing you a happy, colorful and a safe Holi!
I’ll see you soon in another interesting post, till then take good care of your eyes and stay colorful!