The festival of Holi heralds the arrival of spring. It is also a festival where the celebrations are typically marked by splashing colours on family and friends.

Traditionally Holi was played by making colours from flowers and herbs and the fragrant natural colours had therapeutic value.

Over the years, natural colours have been replaced by synthetic ones to the extent that most colours that are sold in the market are oxidized metals or industrial dyes.

These are toxic and can result in various skin allergies to eye irritation and can even cause blindness if gone into the eyes badly.

Thus one’s eyes remain most at risk during Holi as they can get injured easily.

Here are some safety measures you can follow to protect your eyes during the festival:

1. Use clear glasses or if in sun, sunglasses to protect your eyes from the liquid as well as powdered colours.

2. Apply a thick layer of cream on your face, especially around the eyes so that the colour does not stick and can be easily washed off.

3. While washing off the colour, keep your eyes tightly closed and prefer to use warm water.

4. If you wish to wear contact lenses, it is best to use the disposable daily wear ones which can be discarded after the day’s use. It is imperative that the contact lens used when the dye entered the eye, should be removed off immediately. If there is any irritation afterwards or you see redness which persists or if the vision seems to be affected it is vital to see your eye doctor at the earliest.

5. Avoid playing with water balloons as they are one of the common causes of eye injuries on Holi. If they are hit directly on the face and near to the eyes, it may cause irreparable damage to the eyes.

6. Wearing protective eye wear while playing with water guns is also highly recommended.

7. It is important to caution your friends when they play Holi that you do not want any powder , or liquid in the eye.

8. It is best to avoid synthetic colours and dyes of harmful chemicals and use organic colours instead as they would not have such adverse effects on your eyes and skin.

Courtesy: Lawrence and Mayo