aarogya.com spoke to Dr. Belsare at the Ruby Hall clinic. Found below are excerpts of the conversation
What are the problems that arise due to the noise generated during Diwali?
There are two types of problems induced by noise. First, is sudden exposure to loud noise. And the second is a continuous exposure to it like in the case of industrial workers. This could result in temporary deafness. That is reversible. However, if the damage to ear tissue or perforation of the ear drums occurs then it could be cured only if the damage caused is not extensive. But, if the damage is severe then relative deafness could result that might well be of a permanent nature.
Which age group is the most affected?
An infant below one year of age is most vulnerable as the structures of the ear are very delicate. Besides, senior citizens are also quite vulnerable as the degenerative process brought on by ageing has already set in. Moreover, people with a heart condition, hypertension or hypotension and asthma could be faced with problems that could manifest as fatigue, headaches, irritability etc.
What precautions could be taken?
As for precautions:
Avoid lighting a continuous string of crackers that go on like gun–shots endlessly, for sometimes as long as seven to 10 minutes.
Wear ear plugs that would go a long way in minimizing the impact of the sound, at least to some extent.
Diwali is season of fun and revelry. It is a time of blessing and thanksgiving. That is when families, relatives, friends and neighbors come together to celebrate. Just make sure, the Festival of Lights does not bring about darkness in your lives. aarogya.com wishes you and your family a happy and safe Diwali.
Better To Be Safe Than Sorry, Say City Doctors
Diwali and fire crackers have almost become synonymous. Fire crackers provide such a visual delight and could indeed be appreciated from the aesthetic point of view. However, one cannot ignore the fact that fire crackers, if not handled with care and caution, could pose a serious health hazard to many who come in contact with them. They could bring about untold miseries to revelers and ruin their Diwali celebrations. Hence, the key is adopting a “safety first” approach. That would go a long way in ensuring that you have a happy and safe Diwali, and not a nightmarish one thanks to a mishap that could easily have been avoided.
We at aarogya.com had a tete–a–tete with some city–based medical practitioners and sought their views and opinions. The able medicos provided some insight into the problem, and gave us much food for thought. Dr. Shrirang Pandit, a plastic surgeon, shared the joy of the common man in bursting fire crackers. However, he sounded a note of caution. It could prove to be a dangerous proposition, he warned and added that everybody who handles fire crackers needs to be extra careful. He bemoaned the easy accessibility of potentially dangerous fire crackers to just about anybody, including a small child.
He pointed out two factors that made the whole exercise of handling fire crackers increasingly risky. People, he pointed out often wore synthetic clothes which could catch fire very easily and cause the wearer severe burns. Second, children light crackers without any adult supervision which often results in mishaps that could have been avoided, Dr. Pandit stressed. Another cause of concern, said the medico was the smoke emitted after a long chain of crackers is used. This causes suffocation and irritation in the eyes, he pointed out. Dr. Pandit especially cautioned against lighting fire crackers in one’s hand. Many a time, due to the presence of sweat on one’s palms, the label of the crackers could stick to one’s hand and the cracker could burst right in the hand, he observed. Sparklers (phuljadi), he felt were quite safe as they have a long stem. One could use an agarbatti to light crackers, Dr. Pandit suggested as it gave the user some time to get away from the cracker.