Holi asthmaHoli, the festival celebrating colours of harmony, brotherhood and unity, is back again. While everyone else enjoys getting smeared with colours, people having asthma could face potential danger on this day.

Right from a day prior to celebration of colours, when Holi Dahan, an important ritual in Hindu religion is performed, the risk of attacks in people with asthma increases. On the eve of Holi, people living in nearby communities and societies come together to lit up a huge bonfire (made of piled wooden logs) that generates a lot of smoke, dispersing ashes in the air. The worst part is that big bonfires keeps burning the entire night giving an opportunity for more and more smoke particles to enter the lungs, making breathing difficult.

Artificial colours, especially dry colours, used for playing Holi contain toxic chemicals and kerosene that can trigger asthma attack.

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of asthma.

Here are some precautions that you should take in order to prevent asthma attacks:

  1. Use a scarf or wear a mask on Holi Dahan to minimize inhaling smoke pollutants that can trigger asthma attack. Avoid going very near to the bonfire when it is being lit up. The heat generated will make you uneasy. Preferably perform the ritual when the emission of smoke is reduced greatly.
  2. Avoid playing with dry colours. Particles in dry colours remain suspended in the air for a long time. They can enter the lungs and cause breathing problems.
  3. If you want to play Holi, make use of natural colours rather than artificial ones. Although they too can trigger asthma attack, the harm will be minimised compared to toxic colours.
  4. Don’t forget to keep your inhaler with you. Consult your doctor for using it proactively due to uneasiness caused by synthetic colours.
  5. If your child suffers from asthma, be very careful. Be around, and ensure he/she does not play with dry colours. Make sure they are playing safe as well as having fun.
  6. If you feel uneasy and are unable to get your breath under control, call up your doctor immediately. Check out asthma mega guide for everything you need to know about the disease. 

Wishing all of you a happy and safe Holi.

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