Bob Costas’s Eye infection / Pink Eye…What are your options?

Bob Costas’s Eye infection / Pink Eye…What are your options?

costas Pink eye infection


Bob Costas, an anchor for NBC who is the man-behind-the-scenes for the Olympics, unfortunately came down with an ugly form of pink eye, otherwise known as viral conjunctivitis. Although this condition scares many people for many reasons, it is quite common and can usually be easily treated. It is so common, that we treat it in our office on a daily basis. So once you are diagnosed, what are your options for treating it?

Before you treat it, here is a quick cliff-notes to understanding of what pink eye / viral conjunctivitis actually is. It is a  virus infection (the same virus  that causes the common cold) that infects your eye. It can be slightly contagious, or very contagious, depending on which strain you have. If multiple members of your family or coworkers have had pink-eye recently, assume you have the very contagious strain. It is usually a severe annoyance and very uncomfortable, but in the end, rarely dangerous.

First, you need to ask yourself, how quickly do you need to get rid of it? Many people must miss work because of the infections, or have a wedding coming up, et

c. and therefore need to treat it immediately. Others, work from home and therefore do not need to get rid of it as quickly. So here we go:

#1 Cold compresses – this helps make it feel better. It will not rid any other symptoms, and can often spread the infoection if others come in contact with the cold compress. Clean it thoroughly after use

#2 Artificial Tears – this will also bland out the symptoms, but it will not get rid of the symptoms, nor will it get rid of the infection faster.

#3 Handwashing, handwashing, handwashing! – this will prevent the spread of the virus to others. Any time you touch your face or rub your e

yes, you need to wash your hands with soap to rid your hands of the virus prior to touching anything else.

#4 Stop wearing contact lenses until the infection is cleared. Otherwise, you may keep reinfecting yourself over again.

#5 Antihistamine eye drops– this will definitely help relieve the symptoms tremendously. It will help you feel better, as well as, help decrease your contagious tearing. Over the counter, or prescription antihistamines are all good. I suggest Alloway or Zaditor. Keep in mind, the over the counter red-eye drops, like Visine or Clear-Eyes are NEVER recommended. They do more harm than good.

#6 Steroid eye drops– These drops will make your eyes feel and look better the fastest out of all eye drops. Sometimes it can even take a day or two to feel and look back to normal. However, this also carries a downside. If the full course of drops is not taken, then the infection can flare up again. Also, patients with glaucoma or history of elevated eye pressure need to be cautious and be followed for eye pressure changes while on these medications. Unfortunately, these drops are often not covered by insurances. The safest ones are typically Zylet, Lotemax, and Tobradex ST, but very few insurances cover them, and even if they are covered, they can still be pricey.

A few things you should NEVER do with this infection are the following:

#1 Do not assume you have pink eye / viral conjunctivitis. You can have something far worse that may seem like pink eye, but delay in treating those can leave lasting damage.

#2 Do not use Red eye drops, such as Visine or Clear Eyes. Those may do more harm than good.

If you are not sure, or if you are not getting better, I suggest you seek an eye exam by an ophthalmologist immediately.