Gone are the days when only flowers and vegetables were used for making colours. Synthetic chemical colours are the order of the day. Although voices are being raised for a return to natural colours for playing Holi we have a long way to go before we get there.
Eyes are among the most sensitive and the most vulnerable parts of the body, especially during festivals like Holi. I am listing a few points of caution below.
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. Insist on playing with herbal colours.
The wide range of eye injuries during Holi include:
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 vision clarity is affected, an eye doctor must be consulted.
You should be particularly wary of the granular particles of 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 be 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, festivities are far from what they are meant to be. One can easily substitute 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.
Have a happy, safe and natural Holi!
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