The Truth About The Use of Medical Marijuana for the Treatment Of Glaucoma.

Due to the growing legalization of medical marijuana debates, there have raised many questions over the uses of Marijuana for the treatment of Glaucoma. It has also caused many patients who use marijuana for recreational use to talk to their ophthalmologist about their own prevention of glaucoma.

First, we have to understand the background….

In terms of treatment of glaucoma, a patient MUST have 24 hour coverage of eye pressure lowering effects. Basically, if a patient were to have Glaucoma, and they were to use an eye drop that lowers the eye pressure for only 8 hours, that means that the patient is still walking around with elevated eye pressure for 16 hours during the day. That is not only poor coverage, but it is actually MORE dangerous than not treating it at all. You see, under-treating eye pressure causes even greater fluctuations in eye pressure than had it been left alone. This is extremely dangerous for Glaucoma patients.

What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes progressive, painless visual loss, which if goes undetected, will lead to total blindness. It is the #2 cause of irreversible blindness in the USA. There are many risk factors which can lead to or even worsen Glaucoma, however the most popular risk factor is an elevated eye pressure. This is why billions of dollars or research has lead to multiple surgical procedures and countless medications, which are aimed strictly to lower eye pressure.
What is Marijuana? Marijuana is a natural plant that grows in the ground. It has multiple medicinal/recreational uses which are derived from 2 active ingredients in Marijuana. Active Ingredient #1- THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) THC is the portion of the Marijuana plant that causes euphoria, or “getting high” sensation, slowed reflexes, increasing hunger, and in some instances hallucinations. Active Ingredient #2- CBD (cannabidiol) CBD causes relaxation, and pain relief

How has Marijuana been linked to Glaucoma? In 1971, a study came out showing that marijuana lowers the eye pressure. After this study, marijuana has been labeled as the natural miracle plant for treatment of glaucoma. The only problem is, the study never stated which active ingredient lowered the pressure, and it also did not state how long the effect would last.
Now that you have the background, lets tackle the newest study done at the University of Indiana in 2018. They tested the effects of each one of ingredients (THC and CBD) on eye pressure when used alone, as well as when used together. What they found was astonishing, but shocking.

They tested an eyedrop with CBD, the component of cannabis that does not get you stoned, and they found that it RAISED EYE PRESSURE by 18 percent for at least four hours after the drops were instilled. They also tested THC, the component that does get you stoned, and they found that drops containing only THC decreased eye pressure by up to 30 percent within eight hours. They then tested an eye drop with BOTH CBD and THC and found that due to the counteracting effects of CBD vs THC, marijuana does lower eye pressure, but for a very short amount of time.

What does this mean? This means that although CBD has many medicinal positive effects, it should be used in extreme caution! Patients with Glaucoma should NOT use CBD as it will likely increase the patient’s eye pressure. If used for an extended period of time, it can lead to glaucoma in patients at risk, who normally would not have developed glaucoma.

While it’s true that smoking marijuana can reduce pressure inside the eye, it remains a suboptimal treatment because people with glaucoma require 24-hour pressure control to prevent vision loss. You would need to smoke marijuana 8 to 12 times a day, every single day of your life; a treatment regimen that would make it difficult to hold down a job, drive, or function, not to mention the potential cost. The potency of marijuana also varies considerably. It is also unknown yet how it interacts with other medications. One study showed that some people can build up a tolerance to marijuana’s eye pressure lowering effects.

This is the reason why the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society do not recommend using marijuana for treatment of Glaucoma. However, these studies released by the University of Indiana have had eye opening detrimental effects of CBD on eye pressure. CBD is readily available, legally, at pharmacies and the internet without prescriptions, but please use it in caution and speak to your eye doctor about whether the benefits you are seeking from CBD can be used safely with YOUR eye status. YOUR eye is not the same as your friend, parent or sibling’s eye, so please don’t use what an eye doctor tells your friend/parent/sibling and assume it pertains to you too.

Tea anyone? Treatment for styes and Chalazia

Almost every single day, our office has at least one, if not more, patients who present with a “stye.” A stye to the layperson is a red bump on the eyelid, however, in medical terms, it has a very specific meaning and diagnosis.

Either way, most patients who present with a stye, actually have a chalazion. What is the difference?

A stye, or in medical terms “a hordeolum,” is an infection and inflammation from a sweat gland, usually at an eyelash root. They can be medium sized or small, painless or painful, but the location is the key to diagnosis.

A chalazion is a blockage (but NOT necessarily an infection…..this is a big difference!) of large glands in your eyelids that secrete oil. They are called Meibomian Glands. Since they are large glands to begin with, you can imagine that if it becomes blocked, these “eyelid bumps” can become extremely large. If you have a large red bump on your eyelid, it is likely a chalazion and not a stye.

So now that you know the difference between  the two, the next step is treating it.

At least 2-3 times a week, I have a patient tell me that they used TEA BAGS on their eyes and the bump did not go away. Let me be the first to tell you, TEA BAGS ARE VERY BAD IDEAS AND ARE VERY DANGEROUS!!  So why did this person use it? Why have you heard that tea bags are good for styes and bumps? So to give you the answer to that, we have go back in time, prior to very common medications and eye drops. Back in the day, they used to heat up chamomile leaves and place it on the eyelids to treat these bumps. Guess what? It worked great!! However, heated tea leaves in the past, has now changed to heated tea bags in modern day times. This is INCORRECT!! You see, although heated tea leaves worked great back then, it actually wasn’t the tea itself. In reality, it was actually just the HEAT ALONE. If they used warm water, or warm rice, it would have worked just the same. Heat is the most common, and least expensive form of treatment for both styes and chalazia. So now back to the tea bags….unfortunately, you would assume that heated tea bags would work too, however, there is one big problem with the tea bags. You see, the tea bags are dipped in scorching hot water. When placed on the eye, it literally causes a burn to the eyelid skin. Even worse, when the hot water gets between the eyelids, it then causes a thermal burn to the cornea, which not only can be extremely painful, but can cause blindness and even require corneal transplants. This is why hot tea bags is NEVER an acceptable form of treatment for styes or chalazia.

So what are your options for treatment?

In terms of styes, warm compresses are often key to the treatment. It not only opens the orifice of the blocked gland to expel  the bacteria, but it also increases blood flow to the area, allowing your natural body defenses to come to the rescue and allowing antibiotics to readily flow to the area. Sometimes, styes may need to be opened which is very simple to do. Some styes don’t even need anesthetic and can be opened at the slit lamp. Occasionally, antibiotics (topical and/or oral) may need to be prescribed as well.

For chalazia, once again, warm compresses are the mainstay of treatment for all the reasons we listed above. Sometimes, since it is not infectious, it is all you may require. Sometimes, chalazia may need to be opened and excisedThis is an office procedure that requires topical anesthesia (like a lidocaine injection). The entire gland is removed. The incision is made on the inside of the eyelid, so there is less likelihood for scarring. Topical steroids are sometimes used to reduce the inflammation, which decreases the pain and allows the orifice to drain. Occasionally, steroid injections are used to slowly shrink the chalazion away over the course of a few weeks. Lastly, commonly, such as in children, no treatment may be necessary and it will often slowly go away on its own without treatment or surgery. That is a decision to be made between the ophthalmologist and the patient or parent.

In terms of prevention or decreasing the likelihood of recurrence, keeping the eyelashes clean is key. This is best achieved the keeping your hands clean and not touching your face if possible. Also, baby shampoo can be used to scrub the eyelashes clean and it works really well.

If you are concerned that you have a stye and/or chalazion, please go see an ophthalmologist right away. Delaying treatment will make the medical treatment less likely to work, and more likely it will either be a chronic condition or require surgery. Please, do not assume you have a stye or chalazia, because self diagnosis can be dangerous too. Get it checked out in case it is something else. Also, when you use warm compresses, please make sure NOT to burn yourself. It does not have to be scorching hot, just warm is fine.

I hope this helps with putting the myth of chamomile tea bags to rest and helped you learn a little more about styes and chalazia. Friends don’t let friends put teabags on their eyelids.

Congratulations To All Three Doctor Hallers for being awarded The Patients Choice Award for 2016

We would like to congratulate Dr. Melvin Haller, Dr. Chad Haller, and Dr. Tod Haller, who have all been awarded the 2016 Patients Choice Award.

Patients’ Choice Award recognition reflects the difference a physician has made in the lives of their patients. The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores as voted by patients.

The Haller Eye Center would like to thank our wonderful patients who have made this award possible and we are proud of our physicians for achieving this honor.

The Haller Eye Center in Astoria, Queens now accepts Oscar Medical Insurance

As of January 1st, 2017, all three eye doctors at The Haller Eye Center  in Astoria, Queens  are in network for the Oscar insurance company.

If you have Oscar and need an eye exam, contact us to make an appointment.

Congratulations to our very own Melvin Haller, MD on being named one of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors

We would like to collaboratively congratulate our very own Melvin Haller, MD on being named one of Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors. This award is given when someone is voted by other doctors as a top doctor.

Congratulations Dr. Melvin Haller on this prestigious accomplishment. We are so proud of you!

With So Many Contact Lenses Out There, Which One Is Best For Me?

That is a GREAT question!

Advances in contact lens technology have led to the development of more and more types of contact lenses. The Problem is, which one is best for you? Which is the most comfortable and which one is the safest?

So here is the breakdown of the TYPE of contact lenses that are out there:


Leading the way in the newest technological developments has been the advent of silicon hydrogel disposable contact lenses. Silicon hydrogel lenses allow better oxygen permeability or breathability compared to regular hydrogel contact lenses. This has long-term health benefits for your eyes, allowing you longer wearing time, excess moisture, and eliminates the long term affects of cleaning solutions on your eyes. This helps keep the eyes healthier and happier.

Since the launch of silicon hydrogel disposable contact lenses, the technology has constantly improved, resulting in softer, more comfortable lenses. The range of prescriptions available in these materials is continually expanding. Silicon hydrogel lenses are available in several different lens materials and designs, including daily disposable, two-week or monthly disposable and multifocal lenses. Silicon hydrogel lenses may be suitable for you to sleep in according to the FDA, however, most ophthalmologists (like us) and most optometrists will never recommend it and in fact, most feel that it is dangerous to sleep in ANY contact lens.



Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses are made from hard, durable plastics that transmit oxygen. These are typically theleast prescribed, but most affordable lenses out there, however, they take a little longer to get used to compared to soft lenses. They offer excellent visibility and clarity, especially in patients with astigmatism or irregular corneas and they are particularly good lenses for conditions such as keratoconus and other rare corneal conditions. These lenses typically last a year and then need to be replaced.


To change or enhance your eye color, these are available in a range of colors with or without prerscription. You can even get “Wild Eyes,” which are contact lenses with designs and fun colors, perfect for an occasion like Halloween. Color contact lenses are available in daily, monthly disposable and soft conventional designs. It is important to know that an ophthalmologist should fit all color contact lenses, even those without prescription, as the color contact lenses you find in costume stores are extremely dangerous.


Multifocal contact lenses combine distance and near vision. Multifocal contact lenses are available in several different disposable and high-oxygen silicon hydrogel materials, including daily disposable lenses. These, however, can be quite pricey and take a while to get used to. Many patients often quit using them before they take the time to get used to them. By wearing multifocal contact lenses you have the advantage of not being dependent on reading glasses OVER the contact lenses. Many patients often prefer mono-vision (a plain contact lens in one eye for distance and another contact lens in the other eye for near) to multifocal contact lenses.



The most popular contact lenses today are soft disposable lenses. These lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics known as hydrogels or, in more recent years, silicon hydrogels. Disposable contact lenses are available to suit most prescriptions and are generally very comfortable, and do not require much time to get used to them. Disposable contact lenses are available in daily, two-weekly and monthly designs and are to be replaced at these intervals. People who wear daily disposable contact lenses benefit from a fresh pair of lenses every time they wear contacts, providing excellent comfort and eye health. These lenses require no cleaning or maintenance as they are replaced daily. Two-week and monthly lenses do require maintenance and cleaning solutions.


Although contact lenses are widely prescribed, getting a prescription for them is NOT like getting a prescription for glasses. Glasses prescriptions only require a power and a pupillary distance (distance between the two eyes). Contact lenses however come in all shapes and sizes, besides different powers as well. This requires special measurements to measure how round and how large your eyeballs actually are, so the contacts can rest on your eyes properly and safely. Poorly fit contact lenses can be extremely dangerous, even when they are properly cared for. Many insurances and vision plans DO NOT cover these tests and often thee is an added fee for these tests.

You can book in a contact lens consultation with the front desk. When you call, however, please be sure to mention that you would like a contact lens fitting/consultation, so you can have an appointment with one of our contact lens specialists.  Our specialists and ophthalmologists  will be able to advise you on what’s the best type for you. After the consultation, you can then order your lenses from us. the specialists and ophthalmologists will also be able to advise you on contact lens care and maintenance to ensure your eyes stay healthy and your vision clear. Call 718-728-0224 to book your appointment today, or click on the “contact ust” area of the website to book it online now.


All 3 Dr. Hallers Ranked Among The Top 10 Ophthalmologists in NY State

All 3 Dr. Hallers Ranked Among The Top 10 Ophthalmologists in NY State

Chad Top 10 2014

Melvin Haller Award

Melvin Haller Award







Tod TopDoc 2014





Congratulations to our very own Dr. Melvin Haller, Dr. Chad Haller, and Dr. Tod Haller on being ranked among the Top 10 Ophthalmologists in the entire New York State.

Thanks to our loyal and wonderful patients, their ranking as one of the best 10 eye doctors in the state is a testament to the devotion and love they show for their patients.


Learning About Eye Conditions With Help From Disney Characters

Learning About Eye Conditions With Help From Disney Characters

Very often eye doctors get asked certain questions repeatedly. Also, many patients or parents of patients look online for answers to common eye questions, or searching for a diagnosis. As an ophthalmologist, I find it very easy to educate patients on their conditions with visual aids. As a huge Disney fan, I decided to recruit a few of my favorite Disney characters to assist me. So, if you like Disney and want to learn a bit about eyes, here we go!


Lewis from Meet The Robinsons

Lewis from Meet The Robinsons



Here is Lewis, from the Disney Movie “Meet The Robinsons.” He has a light case case of myopia, or otherwise known as ‘near-sightedness.’ He, like many people can not see far without glasses, but can see at near. Typically, near-sighted patients wear their glasses all day long to help visualization for daily living.







Edna Mode - The Incredibles

Edna Mode – The Incredibles



Here we have Edna Mode from Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” She has a severe case of hyperopia, or far-sightedness. Unfortunately, far-sightedness is a misnomer. Most commonly, people think it means that the person can see far, but not near, however that is incorrect. Far-sighted patients needs glasses not only to see far, but also to see near. If Edna were to remove her glasses, she would probably be blind as a bat.



Geppetto- Pinnoccio

Geppetto- Pinnoccio



Often occurring with age, Presbyopia usually develops around the age of 40 years old. Due to the increased difficulty at near, patients with presbyopia need glasses to assist in near-vision. Therefore, this is why most people at the ago of 40 years old (or so) start to need reading glasses. As you can see, Geppetto does not need glasses for distance, but he does need it for near-vision and reading.



Alice - Alice in Wonderland

Alice – Alice in Wonderland


EPIPHORA (Tearing):

Epiphora, or unexplained tearing, is a very common condition. There are many causes, including allergies, dry eyes, foreign bodies, and block tear-drainage systems. In this photo, Alice is obviously over-acting, but this is to teach people about how severe it can become. Most cases are not this bad.




Cruella De Vil

Cruella De Vil- 101 Dalmations



There are many causes of red eyes. Often, conjunctivitis is assumed to be infectious, however, it can also be allergic, seasonal, due to chemicals and other causes. The most common causes are Viral (aka PINK EYE) which is contagious and easily treated, Bacterial which is more rare and often contact lens related, and allergic.


Dopey - Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Dopey – Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs



Here we have one of the seven dwarfs, Dopey, showing off his new contact lenses. These old-school contact lenses are never recommended, because you can end up looking like Cruella in the above photo.



Hades- Hercules

Hades- Hercules



Hades is also over-acting when portraying the condition of dry eyes, however, it does paint a common picture. Patients with dry eyes often exhibit red eyes that burn and often feel like they are on fire. This can be quite irritating and often severely painful.


Crush - Finding Nemo

Crush – Finding Nemo


PTOSIS: (pronounced ‘toe-sis’)

Crush unfortunately has a more severe case of ptosis, which is “drooping eyelids.” Usually it affects one eye, therefore making patients think they have a smaller eyeball, when in reality they have one eyelid that droops. In Crush’s case, he has it in both eyelids, which is much more common in the elderly, due to muscle eyelid weakness. Of course, we would expect that with Crush because he is 150 years old (and still young, dude).


Big Baby- Toy Story 3

Big Baby- Toy Story 3



Congenital Ptosis is a drooping eyelid in a child that occurs either from birth or develops at a very young age. Although thought to be a cosmetic problem, it can sometimes be sight-threatening in some cases and should be evaluated immediately once detected to prevent permanent visual loss. Big Baby needs an ophthalmologist, STAT!


Nick Fury- The Avengers

Nick Fury- The Avengers



Although Nick Fury is a character from Marvel, Marvel was bought by Disney, therefore after Mr. Fury begged me to put him in this post, now I can. Ocular trauma unfortunately is a common problem. Remember when your parents said “don’t to that, you can poke someone’s eye out?” Well, I’ve seen it. Ask Mr. Fury!


Yao- Mulan

Yao- Mulan



A hematoma is the medical term for a ‘black & Blue mark.’ Of course it can occur on any part of the body, but Yao happened to get one on his eyelid. Sometimes, they can become so large, that they close the eyelids shut, until the black & blue mark disappears. The most common cause is obviously trauma, but can occur with valsalvas, blood thinners, ocular surgery, Botox injections, and some blood clotting disorders.



Olaf - Frozen

Olaf – Frozen



In this picture, Olaf is showing of his new, magical prosthetic eye. Although it does help him see, in humans, they don’t.




Gurgle- Finding Nemo

Gurgle- Finding Nemo



Gurgle, unfortunately has a condition called Graves Disease. This disease is when a person has an overactive thyroid. One of the signs of this disease is eyelid retraction. When the upper eyelid retracts upward, it makes the eyes look larger than they really are and have a “bulging” appearance.






Roger Rabbit

Roger Rabbit



Although Roger does not really have thyroid eye disease, he is able to make his eyes bulge as if he really did. Roger is just showing off right now, but in severe thyroid eye disease, the eyes truly do bulge out of the socket and are often frozen and can not move. Sometimes the eyes are pushed so far out, that the eyelids can not close and the eyes can dry out. This is an ocular emergency and can require surgery to fix.


Darla- Finding Nemo

Darla- Finding Nemo


ESOTROPIA (aka ‘inward-turned eye’)

Darla, unfortunately has a condition that is pretty common in children and should be referred to an ophthalmologist right away. It can often be cured with either glasses, patching or surgery, but must be detected early in life to have a good chance of success from treatment.



Genie- Aladdin

Genie- Aladdin



Genie is exhibiting a condition where a person displays inturning eye(s), or esotropia, only when looking at near objects. This is often treated with glasses.




Genie- Aladdin

Genie- Aladdin


EXOTROPIA (Out-turning eye(s)):

Here, Genie is showing us a severe example where both eyes are turned out at the same time. This is usually not the case. Most likely, a patient will only have one eye that turns out, or they will have either eye turn out, but not at the same time. Once again, this must be detected early in age to have success to treat.






Doc - Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Doc – Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs


HYPERTROPIA (up-turned eye):

I asked Doc to help out a little. He said he can show us one eye turning up, while the other looks straight. This is a very rare condition. Thanks Doc!



Billy Bones- Treasure Planet

Billy Bones- Treasure Planet


ECTROPION (out-turned eyelids):

Mr. Bones has very irritated eyes, because of his ectropion of both lower eyelids. If you look at his eyelids, you will see they are drooping outwards, away from his eyeballs. This causes a space where the eyelids do not touch the eyeballs causing severe dryness and irritation. This is usually treated with surgery.


Anchor- Finding Nemo

Anchor- Finding Nemo



Anchor was born with a rare congenital ocular disorder called HYPERTELORISM. It is a condition where the eyes are spaced very far apart from each other. This is usually associated with other facial and skull deformities, just like Anchor has.




Beast- Beauty & The Beast

Beast- Beauty & The Beast



In this photo, Beast is suffering from Blepharospasm. This is an uncontrolled forceful blink that can be short or last a few seconds. Often associated with allergies or tics, it can can also occur for other reasons. In adults this can be treated with Botox, which is why Beast looks like a handsome prince at the end of the movie (spoiler-alert).

Gaston- Beauty & The Beast

Gaston- Beauty & The Beast



Although no one acts like Gaston or spits like Gaston, he is suffering from a common problem. In this condition, the Facial Nerve, which is the nerve that controls movement of half of your face, can stop working. This will cause one eye not to be able to close (aka Bells Palsy), and sometimes occur with a down-turned lips on one side (aka Complete 7th Nerve Palsy). This is often treated with ocular lubricants and resolves on it own within 6 weeks-4 months.


Horned King- Black Couldron

Horned King- Black Cauldron



The Horned King was born with no eyeballs. Anophthalmous is a congenital birth defect where a baby is born without an eyeball, or rarely no eyeballs at all. Luckily this is rare and has no cure to date.



Mike Wazowski

Mike Wazowski


Mr. Wazowski is the worlds most popular cyclops. Born with one central eye. In humans, though, the one central eye usually does not see and this condition is usually associated with multiple facial abnormalities. Babies born with Cyclopia, usually have so many congenital abnormalities that they usually do not survive. Luckily for us, Mr. Wazowski did survive, despite not being born with a nose or second eye, and has been making us all laugh since 2001. Mr. Wazowski now works in Tomorrowland, DisneyWorld, where he works on the Laugh Floor Comedy Factory.

Cheshire Cat- Alice In Wonderland

Cheshire Cat- Alice In Wonderland



Cheshire Cat, unfortunately has a case of jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin and eyeballs. Although it is hard to see on Cheshire’s skin, his eyes are exhibiting the classic yellow appearance seen in jaundice. This is usually a sign of liver disease and once detected, a liver workup should be ordered immediately. This can also occur in babies, after birth. This occurs when bilirubin builds up in the blood. Babies with jaundice should be sent to the pediatrician immediately.



Patch- 101 Dalmatians 2

Patch- 101 Dalmatians 2



Patch was born with this birth defect called Nevus of Ota. A Nevus is a medical term for a freckle. In this case, it is a large darkening of the skin of the eyelids and periorbital area on one side of the face. Although a cosmetic defect, it is sometimes associated with Glaucoma in the eye surrounded by the nevus, therefore requiring close follow-up with an ophthalmologist.





Rumpelstiltskin- Once Upon A Time

Rumpelstiltskin- Once Upon A Time



Although this condition is usually considered hematologic, due to excess copper build-up in the blood, it does have classic eye findings. Despite the copper-like skin, a small ring of copper develops on the cornea (called a Kayser-Fleischer Ring) and slowly gets larger with time. Once treated, the copper-corneal ring disappears.



Aliens- Toy Story

Aliens- Toy Story



Not yet seen in humans!





I hope you enjoyed our demonstration, and if you have any Disney Characters that have other ocular conditions that need diagnosis, please post it here or ask away and I will be sure to come up with a diagnosis. Just make sure your Disney character has insurance. ENJOY!

All 3 Dr. Hallers awarded prestigious “Most Compassionate Doctor Award 2013”

All 3 Dr. Hallers awarded prestigious “Most Compassionate Doctor Award 2013”

Dad CDD 2013Chad CDD 2013

Tod CDD 2013






Congratulations to Dr. Melvin Haller, Dr. Chad Haller, and Dr. Tod Haller on being awarded the prestigious Most Compassionate Doctor Award for 2013. All three doctors have now won this award 3 years in a row.

Each year, nearly 100 million patients across the U.S. access websites like to provide feedback about experiences with their physicians. Only those physicians with near perfect overall and bedside manner scores, as voted by their patients, are selected for the Compassionate Doctor recognition. Of the nation’s 870,000 active physicians, less than 3% were accorded this honor in 2013.

The Compassionate Doctor certification is part of the Patients’ Choice recognition program, where patients rate and vote for their favorite doctors.

Thank you to all of our patients and for the honor of allowing us to serve you. This award means everything to us, because you, the patients, are the ones who made this happen for us. We hope to continue to make you proud and thank you for this distinction .

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.