As with every year, the festival of lights turned out to be a dark one for several people who suffered eye injuries from firecracker accidents. Four persons have lost vision in the last three days.

There may have been a decline in the sale of firecrackers, but the number of eye injuries reported in leading eye hospitals across the city appears to be close to last year’s figures, doctors say. Meanwhile, there have been fewer burns cases.

At least 155 eye injuries have been reported during Deepavali, with 20 new cases reported on Tuesday. Most of the patients are children and most cases are minor corneal abrasions and burns on the eyelid, which will not result in permanent damage to the eyes, doctors say.

Director of Minto eye hospital Shivaprasad Reddy said all nine cases seen at the hospital on Tuesday were of corneal tears and facial burns involving the eye.

K. Bhujang Shetty, chairperson of Narayana Nethralaya, claimed the situation was better this year. “We saw 79 cases last year and this has come down to 58 this time. The various awareness programmes and media campaigns are showing some positive results,” he said. Injuries were also less severe this year, he added.

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