We cannot stress enough about the importance of “Prevention is better than cure” when it comes to our windows to the world – eyes.Especially during the festival of lights.Here are four ways to stay informed and stay safe about issues of the eye this Diwali.

sparkles_phuljhari_fireworks_on_diwali_festival_of_lightsAlways maintain a safe distance while bursting crackers.
Safety first. Always!

Maintain a distance of an arm’s length while lighting firecrackers, and at least five meters while watching.Protect your eyes from sparks,particles from crackers, concentrated fumes and severe damage in case of accidents.Keep fireworks like sparklers that reach temperatures as high as 1000°C ( high enough to melt gold and cause serious injury) away from the face, hair, and clothing.Use of “rockets” near houses gives rise to many injuries each year.Children have sensitive eyes. Parents should be more careful and ensure they wash their eyes twice with cold water. They should also keep their child away from dusty areas. 

As colorful as they seem, colored fireworks have a lot of bearing on our health as well as the environment.
The green light produced in fireworks displays comes from Barium that is both radioactive and poisonous.
The blue color produced from copper compounds comes from dioxins linked to cancer.

Stay environment friendly 

 

 

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Prevent contact with firework components and secondary eye infections.

Avoid touching/rubbing eyes while handling crackers.Wash hands thoroughly after handling crackers to prevent chemicals from contacting the eye & infections.

Also, if the eyes are itchy, one should not rub it as it will increase the itchiness and also expose it to secondary infection. Keep eyes closed and cover the affected eye with a gauze or cotton pad( do not pack the affected area tightly) and go to a doctor immediately.Tears have natural antibiotics and flush out irritants. Do not dry your eye completely as friction (due to lack of tears- natural shock absorber) will cause more irritation and make it susceptible to infections and inflammation.In the case of chemical irritant, irrigate the eyes for 30 minutes and seek an eye specialist immediately.

 

diwali-smokeAvoid traveling in areas with reduced visibility caused by fire cracker smoke

The colorful display of fireworks is a feast for the eyes.But it results in smog which can reduce visibility thereby leading to accidents.One big firecracker-like “1000 walas” and “hydrogen bombs” can produce up to 250 cc of smoke, adding to all forms of pollutions.
 There is no law pertaining to the same. Fireworks are meant for open spaces so avoid bursting crackers in places where people travel.

 

 

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Act fast in an emergency.

In the case of any injury, time is of the essence. First aid with the easily available materials can reduce chances of permanent damage even in the case of serious injuries.

Place a sterile moist cotton pad on the eye.Use the corner of a soft clean cloth to draw the particles out, or hold the eyelids open and flush the eyes continuously with water.

If the particle is large or stuck in the eye, do not attempt to remove it.

For serious injuries like -Open/closed globe injury – injury to/penetrating cornea and sclera ( from the fountain, bombs) or loss of vision:

Do not splash water if the injury appears to be severe inside the eye. Don’t try home remedies in this case and rush to an ophthalmologist. Cover the injured eye with cotton and tape, and rush to an eye specialist immediately for an evaluation of the extent of the damage. Eyesight can be lost in minutes and might be saved if prompt treatment is made available.Do not drink or eat anything following the injury. Small children might require general anesthesia, for which one has to have an empty stomach.

Blurred vision?Bursting crackers leaving you teary eyed? Have a teleconsultation with our expert ophthalmologist

No worries consult specialist doctors on phone at EFGH

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This article is curated by Dr Lakshmi Shastry ,BDS, Bangalore, 2 yrs experience.