Protect your Eyes when Playing Holi

Holi is just round the corner and everyone is gearing up to make the most of the riot of colors. The gulals, rang pichkaris, songs & dances and sumptuous meals during Holi are just getting ready.


Earlier Holi was played with colors made of plant and flower extracts. But over the years, chemicals and other toxic substances have slowly replaced natural colors. Apart from causing irritation to the eyes, these synthetic colors might also lead to temporary blindness and permanent blindness in certain cases. This colourful festival can be a better day of fun and frolic when we play it with safety measures.


Dr. Ruby Misra M.D (A.I.I.M.S), D.N.B (Ophthalmology) , Consultant, Dept. of Cataract, Glaucoma and Neuro Opthalmology of Disha Eye Hospitals shares here the causes of eye infection during Holi and some eye care tips.


Causes for eye infection/ damage during Holi:


    1. Synthetic colours used in Holi contain heavy metals like lead causing pink eye, corneal abrasion, chemical burn, or blunt eye injury. Such colours should be avoided.
    2. Shining mica particles in red colour are really harmful and should be avoided as they can cause damage to the cornea
    3. Green synthetic colours causes fleeting blindness resulting in sudden vision loss
    4. One should avoid water balloons as they cause blunt eye injury
    5. One should avoid wearing contact lenses as colour may get trapped between lens resulting in infection
    6. If ones eyes are hit by balloons full of colour, ones eye balls may get severely damaged or it may lead to retinal detachment.



Eyes care during Holi:


1.    Protect eyes by wearing sunglasses or protective eye wear while playing with colours

2.    Fasten or tie hair together by using a cap to prevent colour dripping into the eyes

3.    Never rub eyes if colours enter into them as this may cause irritation or vision loss

4.    Apply thick layers of coconut oil around your eyes as it will help the colour to get off easily without causing harm to eyes


Natural colours made from home-based products are a much better and safer option to play Holi. These can be easily made and offer a safer option as compared to the synthetic colours. Haldi mixed with besan or flour can give a yellow colour and work as a face-mask at the same time. White petals of Palash flower can be used to obtain a saffron colour. Beetroot soaked in water provides a bright magenta colour. Henna Powder, Gulmohar, and Hibiscus Flowers etc. can also be used to make different colours.