NBC’s Sochi Olympics’ broadcaster, Bob Costas, has been suffering from an eye infection that has been getting progressively worse and prevented him from hosting last night’s primetime coverage. “My eyes can’t get any redder no matter what I do,” Costas said, reported by ABC News. Matt Lauer took over coverage during last night’s broadcast, which was the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas hosted the Olympics during primetime on NBC.
So what can we learn from Costas’ experience? Dr. Natasha Herz, ophthalmologist at Washington Adventist Hospital, spoke with WTOP radio to discuss what you need to know about eye infections.
Causes of Eye Infections
Dr. Herz explains there are several causes for eye infections, such as dust, make-up or harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi or viruses, getting into the eyeball or surrounding area. Also, those who wear contact lenses overnight put themselves at risk for corneal infections, called keratitis, which can cause permanent vision loss.
Look Out for these Symptoms
“If you experience redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or pain within the eye, it is important to see an ophthalmologist immediately as these can be signs of a serious eye infection,” said Dr. Herz. “Pain, tearing, redness and blurred vision, in particular, can be indications of a corneal infection, which must be treated properly early on to prevent vision loss.”
When it comes to more common eye infections like pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, symptoms can include redness, itchiness, grey or yellow drainage from the eye, and waking up with both eyelids stuck together. If the cause of the infection is bacterial, it is generally treated with antibiotic eyedrops or eye ointment and symptoms generally clear up in 2-3 days. Viral pinkeye usually clears up on its own in 7-10 days.
Check your symptoms, here.
Tips for Prevention of Eye Infections
You can reduce your risk of eye infections by avoiding eye injury with protective glasses, cleaning contact lenses properly, getting periodic vision check-ups, and talking to your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.
For more tips on prevention and eye health, visit our Health Library.
To find an ophthalmologist in your area, visit www.AdventistHealthCare.com/doctors