With all of the hoopla over Bob Costas’ red eye during the first week of the Olympic Games, you may have wondered, what did he have anyway? Well as Bob himself put it, “this was viral both literally and figuratively”.
So if you ever find yourself in a Bob Costas situation, what should you do? First of all, go see your eye doc. “Pink eye” is a general term used to describe a type of conjunctivitis where the whites of the eyes are affected by either an allergy, a bacterial infection or in Costas’ case, a viral infection. Coming in to the doctor’s office as soon as possible is your best bet to determine which is ailing you. Drops can be used to treat allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis and generally the eyes will begin to look much better after only a couple of days’ worth of treatment.
Unfortunately for Costas, he has viral conjunctivitis which tends to stick around a little longer and may not completely resolve for 2 to 3 weeks. Costas was back on TV covering the games last night, and although his eyes looked better, they still weren’t 100% back to normal and he was still sporting his specs instead of contacts. Viral conjunctivitis presents itself with red, itching, burning, watery eyes which typically become very light sensitive. It also is very common to start in one eye and spread to the other in a couple of days. Treatment is also limited since this condition just needs to run its course. In severe cases, steroids can help relieve symptoms but do not speed up the time it takes to completely resolve.
Now here was Costas’ big snafu, viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious, especially for the first 10 to 12 days from onset, or as long as the eyes are red. So while Costas’ work ethic kept him reporting on the games, he was exposing his co-workers to the virus and putting them at risk. If you do find yourself in Costas’ shoes, stay home! Also avoid touching your eyes, shaking hands, wash all pillow cases, sheets and towels in hot water and replace eye makeup to avoid re-infection.
Now that we all know what’s been ailing Costas we can all get back to cheering on all the athletes. Go Team USA!