Gone are the days when only flowers and vegetables were used for making colours and synthetic chemical colours are widely used these days. Although there are some voices being raised to return to natural colours for playing Holi; the time when they return completely is very far.
Make sure that powder or any other product does not get inside your eyes. Eyes are extremely vulnerable on Holi because of their strategic place in body and also because of the use of harmful chemicals in colors these days. Please ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. The eyes are most vulnerable to being damaged as they are most openly placed among the vital organs of the body.
Not taking care of your eyes when playing with colours during Holi can result in eye irritation or allergies, possible temporary blindness and skin infection. Some colours can be cancerous. Apart from insisting on playing with herbal colours, you can make use of the tips given below:
Always cover your eyes whenever there is a chance of colour coming in contact with them. Sunglasses are useful for this purpose. Try to dissuade people from applying colour all over your face with their hands. If you fail to do so, be especially careful in keeping your eyes and lips tightly shut. Always request the person not to smear the colours near the eyes. Hats can also prevent the coloured water from entering your eyes.
If you are traveling by car, keep the windows closed. The menace of water balloons can be tackled in this way. Water balloons can be most damaging for your eyes as they can rupture the eyeball or even lead to retinal detachment.
Apply cold cream around your eyes and make a thick coating of it over there. This would ensure that the colours can be easily removed when you wash your eyes. When washing for removing the colours around your eyes, keep the eyes tightly shut and use warm water.
Children should use only non-toxic colours for Holi. Always keep the contact number of Eye Hospital/your Ophthalmologist handy so that in case of any mishappening you can immediately get in touch with doctor.
The wide range of eye injuries during holi includes Allergic conjunctivitis, Chemical burns, corneal abrasion, Blunt trauma to the eye. If these colors enter the eye while playing, they cause mild redness and irritation which usually subsides after washing copiously with water. However if there is intense pain and burning sensation, one must get an opinion from an ophthalmologist. Also if the clarity of vision is affected, an eye doctor must be consulted.
You should be particularly wary of the granular particles of the chemical colours. These are toxic and can cause corneal abrasion. This eye problem causes severe pain and needs to be treated by an expert for preventing the development of ulcer or infection.
Water balloons can me most dangerous and cause blunt trauma to the eye which may lead to bleeding in the eye, lens subluxation or dislocation, macular edema or retinal detachment. This may lead to loss of vision or even loss of eye. These are all eye emergencies and need to be looked into immediately.
It can be understood why it is important that everyone returns to natural colours during Holi. With such risks to health including eyes the festivities are far from what they are meant to be. One can easily substitute the harmful chemicals with besan, palash leaves, beetroot soaked in water, henna powder, gulmohar, hibiscus flowers and many others for making all types of colours. Herbal gulal is also available in the market these days.
Dr. H. K Kharbanda
Practising Homoeopathic Consultant
Mobile + 91 9815220735