Protecting the eyes during Holi

Eye protection advice ahead of Hindu festival of colours

04 Mar 2015 by Ryan O'Hare

On Friday (6 March) people across India will take to the streets to throw coloured water and dust at one another as part of the Hindu festival of Holi.

The annual event is celebrated on the first day of spring to see out the winter and welcome in the new season. The festival has gained popularity outside of India in recent years, with events around the world seeing people don white clothing and pelting each other with the colours.

The powdery paint, known as Gulal, is non-toxic and water-soluble, but some concerns have been raised around the use of cheaper, more toxic alternatives.

Ahead of the festivities, The Times of India has published a number of tips to help revellers protect their eyes.

The safety tips include wearing glasses or a hat to protect the eyes, and wearing a thick layer of cream on the face so the paint doesn’t stick to the skin. Contact lens wearers are advised to switch to disposable lenses for the festivities.

The article warns that if any of the powder gets in the eyes, to “wash [them] out immediately with copious water, which will dilute the side effects of the irritant.”

It adds: “If redness persists or if the vision seems to be affected it is vital to see your eye doctor immediately.”

Image credit: Steven Gerner


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