Diwali celebrations mean a lot of fun and enjoyment, but with incidents of eye injuries and even loss of eyesight being reported every year, it’s crucial to take safety measures. In fact, eyes are the second-most common affected area during Diwali after hands and fingers. As expected, the leading cause of injuries on Diwali is the lack of appropriate safety measures while lighting fireworks. Here are some tips shared by Dr. Pallavi Joshi, Consultant Cornea & Refractive Services, Sankara Eye Hospital, Bangalore, which will help you have a happy and safe Diwali!
Irritation caused by smoke-emitting crackers
Some major precautionary measures to be taken during bursting crackers are to fire them in open spaces, covering your eyes with goggles or tested spectacles and wash your hands a number of times to protect yourself from harmful chemicals, says Dr Pallavi Joshi. Also defuse used fireworks properly by soaking them in a bucket of water before disposal.
Caution for people who wear contact lenses
Dr Pallavi suggests to always remove your contact lenses before going out to fire cracker. Use a spare glass instead, which can protect your eyes in a better way. Contact lenses may cause irritation to the eyes if exposed to direct heat for a long time. Maintain a distance of an arm’s length while lighting firecrackers, and at least five metres while watching.
In case of an eye injury.
In case you get an eye injury with crackers, the first step should be to wash your eyes and face properly. Wash your hands before splashing water on the face. Do not rub or scratch your eyes. If there is bleeding in the eye, use a patch to cover up the wounded area and immediately rush to the nearest hospital, adds Dr Pallavi.
Dr Pallavi warns that all types of crackers are harmful and any kind of cracker can be dreadful for your eyes. So it’s best to avoid highly combustive crackers. Avoid sparklers that reach temperatures as high as 1000°C – high enough to melt gold and cause serious injury.
Injury leading to permanent vision loss
Any kind of cracker injury can harm the eye, which can result in permanent vision loss if the condition is severe. The damage of the eye by a cracker depends on the velocity of the cracker or the intensity by which it hits the eye, the second one is the chemical reaction in the eye and the third is the thermal burn, which is the heat that is caused by the cracker.
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Always burst crackers in an open space, wear goggles, wash hands with sanitizers. Children should be supervised while playing with crackers. Never take any injury lightly; visit a doctor and take professional help. Keep fireworks away from the face, hair and clothing. Keep a bucket of water and sand readily available for dousing in case of accidental fire.