Holi is the festival of colors and is all about celebrating the victory of good over evil, but we often forget that while celebrating we might be often causing harm to ourselves or others unknowingly when we use synthetic colors. The harmful effects of chemical-filled colours on the eyes can have serious long-term implication and can even cause blindness. Every year thousands of cases of eye problem are reported on and after Holi. It is sad that joy and happiness of the festival of colours turns into grief and sorrow for some. Dr Madhur A Hingorani, Consultant- Ophthalmologist, Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital, Kolkata suggests few quick tips below that can help you play Holi safely and keep the eyes healthy and gleaming.
Synthetic and toxic chemical colours can cause irreversible damage to eyes. Made from industrial dyes, and alkalis, these colours contain hazardous chemicals like mercury, asbestos, silica, mica, and lead which are very toxic and can permanently damage the eyes sometimes leading to permanent loss of vision. Today, with awareness, better options are available in the market like organic colors and traditional natural colours. These are made from flowers, turmeric and other organics products and dyes and are not harmful to our body.
Further Dr Madhur added, “we should not rub our eyes if colour has entered the eyes, as it can lead to corneal abrasion and damage the cornea. Also, it may lead to eye infections and other complications. If the colour has accidentally entered the eye, we should immediately cleanse the hands, take a palm full of water and gently try blinking the eyes in the water. We should not splash water into the eye, as it can aggravate the injury. Also, do not try to remove any particulate matter using a handkerchief or tissue as it will only make it worse.”
Contact lenses have hygroscopic properties or in easy terms they absorb water, therefore if any coloured water enters the eye it increases the risk of allergies and infections. The best solution is to use your glasses or opt for a disposable contact lens that can be discarded immediately if there is any sign of eye irritation.
Adding to the above points, Dr Madhur said, “if there is an indication of eye injury or damage, then we should consult an eye expert immediately. We may be inclined to apply some home eye remedy or use any available eye drops or ointment to give our loved one some relief from the discomfort, but it can be counterproductive and can cause more damage that help. In case of persistent redness, watering, discharge, itching, discomfort, trauma, bleeding we should immediately rush to the nearest eye care professional. Let the eye expert judge the nature and severity of the injury and suggest a proper course of action.”
So, let’s be prepared in advance and take these few precautions to have a healthy and joyful experience this Holi.