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After almost two years of sombre isolation, this year’s Holi is right on time to infuse cheerfulness and vibrancy back into our lives. As one immerses in the festive glee and long hours of celebration, it becomes important to prevent the potential hazards of synthetic colours that may affect the skin, hair, and particularly, the eyes. To protect your eyes from the damaging effects of colours, some extra care is needed.
While the colours and water balloons may be fun, any recklessness might result in irritation, swelling, allergies, abrasion, and loss of eyesight in the worst-case scenarios.
However, HealthShots spoke to Dr Nandini Ray, Ophthalmic Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Sarat Bose Road, Kolkata to list a few simple preventive steps ensuring eye safety.
Primarily, let organic and herbal colours be your go-to to lower the risk of allergies. As an alternative to synthetic colours, Haldi mixed with flour, Kesar, flowers of Palash, or Tesu can be used as colours. “No matter what the medium, “Avoid colours near the eyes” should be the golden rule to immerse in the fun and frolic of the festival”, says Dr Ray.
She further shares that water-filled balloons can be like missiles. If they hit the eye, they can cause a lot of trauma which may not be colour-related but can cause permanent damage to the eye. Hence, avoid hitting each other with water-filled balloons or being in direct reach of a squirter or pichkari.
If possible, wear glasses to protect the eyes from colour and ditch the contact lenses on Holi. People with no eyesight issue can also wear zero power glasses or protective ones to avoid any mishaps. Cover your eyes to prevent colours and water from entering the eyes and being trapped inside. “If they do, immediately wash the eye so that there are no traces of color not only on the eyeball surface, but along your eyelashes and eyebrows. If possible, evert the eyelid so that the dry colour powder is removed from the corners of the eyes.” says Dr Ray.
According to Dr Ray, another way to safeguard your eyes is by creating a thick shield of cold cream or coconut oil around the eyes. It will further help to shield off the excessive colour and allow easy removal.
Avoid using colours containing granular particles that impart glitter to them . Any contact of these particles with the eyes may cause severe pain and watering. These textured particles can potentially harm the cornea in the form of a corneal abrasion if left untreated. For immediate relief, gently rinse the eyes with clean water or a sterile saline solution (sourced from a medical store).
In case of any emergency, visit an eye specialist immediately because colours can often cause very dangerous burns in the eyes. Be careful and mindful of your safety and of others as you immerse into the Holi fun.