As we all know Holi is a festival of colours, sweets, songs and enjoyment. It is celebrated in our country as a symbol of happiness and brotherhood. But, unfortunately, these days we find it common to have patients with asthma and other allergic diseases to have increased in their symptoms. The conventional chemical colours contain various harmful substances such as salts of mercury, chromium, lead, aluminium bromide and powdered glass. They can harm in a number of ways such as skin problems, exacerbation of asthma, renal failure, and for pregnant and lactating women they can cause harm to the fetus and can reach the little one via breast milk. Though organic colours are commonly available these days, one cannot be very sure as to who among a crowd is using the chemical ones. 

For patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis, I do believe that they should stick to their basic care which consists of following:

1. They should not forget to take their routine medicines, especially inhalers on time. 

2. They should take all possible steps to prevent exposure to colours, dust and cigarette smoke (both active and passive). If possible, they should remain confined to home during Holi playing hours. 

3. Regular exercise should be done indoors. At the same time, both physical and mental stress should be avoided as far as possible. 

4. Harsh cleaning of household objects and upholstery should be avoided and contact with pets and furred animals should be avoided. 

5. While going out, they should cover their face with a mask covering nose and mouth. 

6. They should make sure that the people around them know that they have asthma and don’t apply colours to them. 

7. Inhalers should always be kept handy and it should be ensured that they contain sufficient doses. 

8. Last but important,  for any possible emergency, contact number of an ambulance service and nearby hospital should be kept accessible.