BENGALURU: While the city is gearing up for Deepavali, it is also adviced to exercise caution during this time. It is mandatory for parents to stay with their children while bursting crackers. Many ocular injuries are reported every year, mainly caused due to firecrackers. In fact, the eyes are the second most common affected area after the hands and fingers. Some of the common injuries are caused by sparklers and bombs along with ‘Chakra’ crackers, which also cause eye injuries.
Mode of Injury
The severity of ocular injury can range from mild irritation and corneal abrasions to retinal complications and open globe injury leading to potential blindness. Chemical injuries are due to the chemicals in the gunpowder mixed in the crackers. The constant smoke can cause irritability and watering of eyes. Fumes, emanating from firecrackers, may also cause laryngitis and other throat infections. Necessary precautions need to be taken to avoid such injuries.
Contact lenses may cause irritation to the eyes, if exposed to direct heat for a long time. So people wearing contact lenses should be cautious while bursting crackers.
DOS AND DON’TS
Do not rub your eyes or scratch your eyes.
Wash your eyes properly.nIn case of any irritation or foreign body in the eye, hold the eyelids open and flush the
eyes continuously with water.
If a particle is large or stuck in the eye, do not attempt to remove it.
Keep eyes closed and go to the eye doctor.
If there is any chemical that has entered the eyes, immediately irrigate the eyes and under the eyelids, with water, for 30 minutes. Seek an eye doctor immediately Be cautious
Always burst crackers in an open space, wear goggles, wash hands with clean water
Children should be supervised while playing with crackers. Never take any injury lightly; visit a doctor and take professional help
Keep a bucket of water and sand for accidents.
Store fireworks in a closed box in a safe location, away from the reach of children
Keep fireworks away from the face, hair and clothing
Do not wear synthetic clothing while bursting crackers
Maintain a distance of an arm’s length while lighting firecrackers, and at least five metres while watching
Remove your contact lenses before going out to burst fire crackers. Use a spare glass instead, which can protect your eyes in a better way.
Defuse used fireworks properly by soaking them in a bucket of water before disposal
Always wear good slippers which will protect from accidental stamping of burnt crackers
-The author is a cataract surgeon, glaucoma and medical retina specialist, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital Bengaluru
Major Ocular injuries
nOpen globe injury – Full thickness injuryof the eye wall
nClosed globe injury – Injury to the globe without a full thickness ocular wall laceration/rupture
nContusion – Bruise around the eye
nLamellar laceration – partial thickness wound of the eyewall
nLaceration – Full-thickness injury of eye wall caused by a sharp object
nPenetrating injury – An open globe injury with an entrance wound
nPerforating injury – An open globe injury with an entrance and exit wound