Diwali, the festival of lights, is the most popular of all Indian festivals and is celebrated around the world. It’s that time of the year which stands for lights, sweets and lots of fun with family and friends. However, the tough covid times will play a spoilsport for gatherings and we need to abide by the social distancing guidelines strictly. This is also a time when one has to be careful about keeping one’s eyes safe. Here are a few handy tips for you.
How to play safe Diwali and not get hurt
· If a splinter or something that’s hot and burning gets into the eyes immediately wash with lots of clean water. Tap water, drinking water, any clean water will do. You can also apply some ice or cold compress if possible. The best thing is to go to the nearest doctor. Many eye hospitals keep special night and emergency facilities on Diwali open.
· Wearing plain spectacles goes a long way in protecting your eyes. Many accidents happen while a person tries to be adventurous by bursting crackers in dangerous ways. We commonly receive patients with injuries from bombs which are lit under some earthen pots and burst. Another common cause is when a cracker fails to light up the first time and then someone tries to blow on it or light it for the second time it bursts on the face of the person. These needs to be strictly prohibited.
· Do not cover crackers with glass bottles, tins, box or earthen pots for sound effects. They can burst into tiny pieces and damage your eyes forever. Also, do not go near crackers that have failed to explode.
· If you are a contact lens wearer, it is advisable not to wear them while watching or bursting crackers. Contact lenses may cause irritation to the eyes if exposed to high heat for a long time.
· In the event of an eye injury, do not rub your eyes or use local remedies like turmeric powder, coconut oil, etc. If there are any particles inside your eyes, it may worsen the injury. Instead, wash your eyes with clean water for about 10 minutes and after that consult an Eye Specialist at the earliest.
· Make sure you wash your hands properly after making a rangoli or handling fireworks, and before you touch your eyes. The coloured powder, chalk powder and chemicals from the crackers may cause eye irritation and itchiness and in certain cases, irreparable damage.
· Even though fireworks may be pretty and bright, it is best to stay away from them. Do not let children light crackers. If they are bursting crackers, there should always be adult supervision.
· Keep the number of your opthalmologist and nearest Hospital / Eye Care centre handy
These precautions can go a long way to ensure a safe and happy Diwali for you, your family, friends and loved ones.
–Dr Soham Basak, Consultant, Cornea Department, Disha Eye Hospitals