BANGALORE, November 3: Like every other year, this year too the festival of lights proved to be gloomy for many as the city saw at least 44 cases of eye injuries and three cases of minor burn injuries. Of the 44 cases, two patients suffered severe eye injuries and 19 of them are children.
Although ophthalmologists feel the number of cases this year is lower compared with the previous year’s figures, they say it is too early to comment as the celebrations have not yet ended.
Minto Eye Hospital saw seven cases of eye injuries over the weekend, five of which were treated on out-patient basis. Shivaprasad Reddy, Director of Minto Eye Hospital said 30-year-old Sathish, who is unlikely to regain vision, was rushed to the hospital after a cracker splinter ruptured his eyeball. “Doctors at our hospital are performing surgery. But he is likely to lose vision,” Dr. Reddy added.
Meanwhile, when The Hindu called up some of the private hospitals, at least 35 cases of eye injuries were reported from across seven private eye hospitals. Doctors at the hospitals said that most of the cases were “superficial injuries”.
Dr. Reddy said that the numbers at the hospital were less compared with last year when 47 eye injury cases were reported and four people lost their vision. “But we will have to wait and watch until the festivities end,” he said.
K. Bhujang Shetty, chairperson of Narayana Nethralaya where 19 eye injury cases were reported over the weekend, agreed that the numbers were far less this year. “Last year, we had 80 eye injury cases, reported in all our three branches, and two of the patients had lost vision. It appears like the campaigns to avoid crackers have worked. But as per our experience, most cases are reported on the second and third day of the festival.”
Murali Kaushik, paediatric ophthalmologist at Sankara Eye Hospital — where eight cases of eye injuries have been reported — said that the “worrying” trend this year was that more number of children had injuries. “Of the eight cases, six are children,” he said, adding that most of them were bystanders. Six-year-old Rahul Dev, who was a bystander, was rushed to Sankara Eye Hospital after a splinter went into his eye. Dr. Kaushik said that he had been operated upon and needed further treatment.
When asked if his hospital had seen a dip in the number of eye injuries reported, Dr. Kaushik said there were 20 eye injuries reported last year as compared with eight cases this year. “But the festivities have just begun and we will have to watch for the next two days,” he added.
Three patients came to the burns ward in Victoria Hospital. This figure is the lowest over the past six years. Smitha S., in charge of the burns ward said, “There are no serious burn injuries. They are all minor injuries. While two patients have been treated as out-patients, only one is undergoing treatment at the hospital. But the patient should recover soon.”