Post-visarjan, 200 land with itchy, red eyes

Mumbai: Residents of Abhyudaya Nagar were tearing up uncontrollably when they returned home early on Friday morning after Ganpati visarjan. Bidding farewell to Bappa was not the only reason.

Reportedly, as many as 200 people came down with severe eye infection, necessitating an emergency visit to the Bachooali Eye Hospital, Parel. Doctors are trying to determine the exact reason for so many people being similarly afflicted.

Rajesh Khillari, one of the members of the Abhyudaya Nagar Ganeshotsav Mandal, who is also suffering, said, this is the first time in more than 50 years that such an incident has occurred.

“It all started after I went to bed. I found it difficult to open my eyes afterwards, experiencing intense itching and burning when I tried to do so. When I reached the Bachooali eye hospital, I found most of the members of my society too were there for the same reason,” Khillari said.

Another resident, Kishor Labde said, on waking up his eyes were red and itchy. Those affected are not sure whether it was caused by the 'gulaal' strewn in the air as the procession was on its way or there is another reason.

A doctor from the Bachooali Eye Hospital said while they have handled cases of itchy and inflamed eyes before, this is the first time there are so many people exhibiting the same symptoms and from the same area.

“It can be viral conjunctivitis, which may have spread through one person to another. But another possible reason could be the gulaal used in the festivities.

Nowadays, there are chemicals in gulaal, which can severely affect the eye,” said the doctor. “Depending on the extent of redness, lubricants and eye drops have been given to those affected,” he said.

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