Bob Costas’s Eyes 2 Red 2 Work

NBC sportscaster Bob Costas is taking the night off in the middle of the Olympics!

Costas ( a fellow Commack HS South alum) is apparently turning the prime time coverage over to Today show host Matt Lauer tonight because of a bad case of pink eye:

“Reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but we’re going to have to go to the bullpen, and I don’t know if you’re aware of this tonight, but you’re Mariano Rivera, at least tonight.”

Mr_-PeabodyLast Friday, Costas apologized to viewers for sporting “Mr. Peabody” eyeglasses, explaining that he had pink eye in his left eye. He assured viewers “(It) should resolve itself by the weekend,” however by Monday night, both eyes looked red and swollen (as seen above in the photo by @SBNationGif via Twitter.)

Downing a shot of vodka with co-host Mary Carillo, he joked:

“My eyes can’t get any redder, no matter what I do.”


What is “pink eye”?

Conjunctiva Diagram 1Pink eye, medically known as conjunctivitis, is a common eye condition worldwide. It causes inflammation (swelling) of the conjunctiva—the thin layer that lines the inside of the eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. Conjunctivitis is often called “pink eye” or “red eye” because it can cause the white of the eye to take on a pink or red color.

The most common causes of conjunctivitis are viruses, bacteria, and allergens. But there are other causes, including chemicals, fungi, certain diseases, and contact lens wear (especially wearing lenses overnight). The conjunctiva can also become irritated by foreign bodies in the eye and by indoor and outdoor air pollution caused, for example, by chemical vapors, fumes, smoke, or dust.

Viral conjuntcivitis

Viral conjunctivitis is caused by infection of the eye with a virus. Viral conjunctivitis:

  • Can be caused by a number of different viruses, many of which may be associated with an upper respiratory tract infection, cold, or sore throat.
  • Usually begins in one eye and may progress to the second eye within days.
  • Spreads easily and rapidly between people and can result in epidemics.
  • Is typically mild and usually clears up in 7-14 days without treatment and resolves without any long-term effects. In some cases, it can take 2-3 weeks or more for viral conjunctivitis to completely clear up, depending on whether complications develop.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by infection of the eye with certain bacteria. Bacterial conjunctivitis:

  •  Usually begins in one eye and may sometimes progress to the second eye.
  •  Is a leading cause of children being absent from day care or school.
  •  Cases are typically mild and can last as few as 2-3 days or up to 2-3 weeks. Many cases improve in 2-5 days without treatment. However, topical antibiotics are often prescribed to treat the infection.

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?

lg-pinkeyeSymptoms of conjunctivitis can include:

  • Pink or red color in the white of the eye(s) (often one eye for bacterial and often both eyes for viral or allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Swelling of the conjunctiva (the thin layer that lines the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid) and/or eyelids
  • Increased tearing
  • Discharge of pus, especially yellow-green (more common in bacterial conjunctivitis)
  • Itching, irritation, and/or burning
  • Feeling like something is in the eye(s) or an urge to rub the eye(s)
  • Crusting of eyelids or lashes sometimes occurs, especially in the morning
  • Symptoms of a cold, flu, or other respiratory infection may also be present
  • Sensitivity to bright light sometimes occurs

How is conjunctivitis treated?

Most cases of viral conjunctivitis are mild. The infection will usually clear up in 7–14 days without treatment and without any long-term consequences.

Artificial tears and cold packs may be used to relieve the dryness and inflammation (swelling) caused by conjunctivitis.

Antiviral medication can be prescribed by a physician to treat more serious forms of conjunctivitis, such as those caused by herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus. Antibiotics will not improve viral conjunctivitis—these drugs are not effective against viruses.

For bacterial conjunctivitis antibiotic eye drops can help shorten the illness and reduce the spread of infection to others.

Many topical antibiotics (drugs given as eye drops or ointment) are effective for treating bacterial conjunctivitis. The infection should clear within several days. Artificial tears and cold compresses may be used to relieve some of the dryness and inflammation.

Mild bacterial conjunctivitis may get better without antibiotic treatment and without any severe complications.

What can I do to prevent getting or spreading it to others?

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be easily spread from person to person and can cause epidemics. You can greatly reduce the risk of getting conjunctivitis or of passing it on to someone else by following some simple good hygiene steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • Wash any discharge from around the eyes several times a day. Hands should be washed first and then a clean washcloth or fresh cotton ball or tissue can be used to cleanse the eye area. Throw away cotton balls or tissues after use; if a washcloth is used, it should be washed with hot water and detergent. Wash your hands with soap and warm water when done.
  • Wash hands after applying eye drops or ointment.
  • Do not use the same eye drop dispenser/bottle for infected and non-infected eyes—even for the same person.
  • Wash pillowcases, sheets, washcloths, and towels in hot water and detergent; hands should be washed after handling such items.
  • Avoid sharing articles like towels, blankets, and pillowcases.
  • Clean eyeglasses, being careful not to contaminate items (like towels) that might be shared by other people.
  • Do not share eye makeup, face make-up, make-up brushes, contact lenses and containers, or eyeglasses. Throw away and replace any eye or face makeup you used while infected.
  • Do not use swimming pools.
Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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