Doctors say eye injuries on rise during Deepavali

Doctors say eye injuries on rise during Deepavali

The festival of lights, Deepavali, has brought joy to many, but it has become a reason for sorrow for those who are not careful while bursting crackers. Every year, at least 50 people suffer eye injuries-- many with severe complications.

Some are on the verge of losing eyesight. Many also suffer from hearing ailments.

Dr K Bhujang Shetty, managing director, Narayana Nethralaya (NN) says every Deepavali, they receive patients with eye injuries caused due to cracker burst. “Most of the cases are minor injuries and they are mostly children. We receive at least five severe injury cases every year, some resulting in total vision loss. Unfortunately, many of the severe injury victims are either innocent passers-by, or children, watching the crackers burst”, he added.

He said, eye injuries can range from mild burns in the skin, eyelashes, to more serious ones like damage to the cornea (front portion of our eye), bleeding inside the eye, tear and detachment of the retina, injury to the optic nerve, etc--. which can lead to permanent loss of vision.

“It is best to avoid crackers and enjoy the festival with lights, rangoli, and sweets. However, if you are injured; and even if the injury is minor; wash your eyes sufficiently in clean water and rush to the hospital on priority,” Dr Shetty added.

Not just eye injuries, the loud sound of crackers causes hearing ailments, Nayak’s Hearing Care experimented on few of the noise creating crackers and recorded the noise level recently.

According to their study, the noise emitted by crackers ranged from 89.4 (dBA) decibels to 123.6 dBA at one-meter distance. M S J Nayak from the hearing care said that ideally, a safe 4-meter distance must be maintained from the cracker, but many times people do not follow it.