Dharavi resident Mohammad Magdum, 16, is still carrying the painful memories from last year’s Diwali, when he suffered hearing loss in his right ear after a ‘sutli bomb’ exploded near him.
“I am not going to step out of my house this Diwali as I am worried that my hearing loss might get worse,” said Magdum.
Magdum suffered 40 % moderate hearing loss in his right ear when the firecracker exploded near his ear while he was crossing the road. “The sudden loud noise of the firecracker caused damage to his ear drum. An exposure to a high intensity decibel noise can also injure the hearing nerve, usually difficult to treat,” said Dr Meenesh Juvekar, ear nose and throat surgeon, Bombay Hospital.
According to doctors, the permissible level of noise an ear can take without damage is between 90-100 decibels. “Anything more than that can cause acute noise-induced hearing loss,” said Dr Juvekar.
Magdum recovered hearing ability after doctors repaired his damaged eardrum. Noise pollution can also cause irritability, disturbed sleep and increase in pre-existing hypertension, said doctors. “People can use noiseless crackers and avoid bursting them at night,” said Dr Gauri Mankekar, consultant ear nose and throat surgeon, PD Hinduja Hospital.
Doctors also treat many patients with eye injuries caused due to firecrackers in Diwali.
“We see at least 20 patients, especially youngsters and children on Diwali day with eye ball ruptures and burns in the eye which can cause blindness and burns on the skin of the eyelids,” said Dr Saroj Sahdev professor and head of unit, ophthalmology department, KEM Hospital.
Cracker injuries can cause blunt and penetrating injuries to the eye. According to Dr S Natarajan, ophthalmologist, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, the rocket is one of the crackers with has maximum potential of causing an eye injury.
“It is unsafe since its path is unpredictable. The velocity and the ingredient of the cracker can cause very severe injury,” said Dr Natrajan.