Ahead of Holi, eye specialists in the city have issued dos and don’ts and have urged people not to play with synthetic colours.
They said that these colours contain industrial dyes and harmful chemicals that can cause irritation, pink eye, blurry vision and even blindness in cases of extreme exposure.
The doctors have asked to use natural colours which contain substances like henna, turmeric, beetroot, marigold and hibiscus flowers which are safe.
They have also urged people not to play Holi while wearing contact lenses. They said that colours might get trapped in lens and can cause infection. Contact lenses may also absorb some of the harmful chemicals aggravating the problem due to continued exposure. The doctors said water balloons are the most common cause of injury. When balloons hit the face directly, it can cause serious damage to the eyes that include bleeding, swelling or even retinal detachment. These conditions may lead to permanent vision loss. If toxic colours get into the eyes, they turn red, burn and swell causing Photo Phobia. In such cases, eyes should be washed with water. If the irritation continues then it is advisable to consult a doctor. Dr Saptorshi Majumder, eye specialist said coloured water balloons might lead to retinal detachment. He said granular particles which made the colours shine brightly were actually quite toxic and could cause damage to the Cornea in the form of corneal abrasion. In such cases a person has severe pain in the eye and watering. It is best, to wash the eyes with clean water or to apply sterile saline solution but rubbing of eyes should be avoided.
Dr Majumder said that these tips might help people to enjoy the festival of colour peacefully. “Our duty is not to scare people but to ensure that they enjoy Holi peacefully and happily.”