I feel for Bob Costas. Having pink eye stinks. And when I had it, the only people who had to look at me were those who lived in the same house. Costas has pink eye in front of the entire world, and it sure looks like he has a nasty case of it.
At first the network called it “an eye infection” which it is, but I am guessing that most parents, especially those who have ever had to hold their child down while putting antibiotic drops in their eyes, knew right away that he had pink eye.
The infection started in his left eye and over the course of a couple days spread to his right. That is what happened to me as well, despite taking precautions against just that. I washed my face using two different washcloths so there was no way the infection could spread by towel. I slept on my back so it could not be spread via pillow. I washed my hands constantly, wore my glasses, and was super careful about not touching the uninfected eye. Yet the infection spread anyway. Though it did not look quite as bad as what Costas is dealing with, it was rather uncomfortable. Like I said, I feel for the guy.
You know how from time to time you’re asked a question such as, “If you could spend an entire day shadowing someone in one of your favorite professions, who would it be?” Well, Costas is my guy. I look forward to watching him anchor both the summer and winter games. In fact, until Tuesday night’s games he had anchored 157 consecutive prime-time broadcasts for NBC, going back to the 1992 games in Barcelona. I would venture to guess that giving up his seat last night was not an easy decision to make, yet I applaud him for the nights he went on air in front of millions while not quite looking his finest. I just hunkered down in my house for a couple days, until my eyes looked just a little bloodshot.
What do you need to know about pink eye? Well first of all, it is also known as conjunctivitis. It’s an extremely contagious viral or bacterial infection, but also has other causes such as allergies or a reaction to products, such as contact lens solution. Pink eye typically involves redness, as well as potential discharge, crustiness, or swelling. Mine started when I woke up one morning about a week after my son had it, and I could not open my right eye. Off to the doctor I went.
Often pink eye is just ugly and not painful, but symptoms can vary. There can be some burning and itching involved. When I had pink eye it began to burn a little on about the third day, just when the antibiotic drops were beginning to kick in.
If you think you or your child might have pink eye, you may want to get to a doctor or healthcare practitioner to look at it quickly, because pink eye can be very contagious. (Babies get pink eye more often than adults because of infections in developing tear ducts.) If you wear contact lenses, it is usually recommended to stop wearing them until the infection is over and to put in a fresh new pair of lenses afterwards. For women it is often recommended to throw away any eye makeup used just prior or during the infection in order to avoid a recurrence. And as mentioned, other helpful practices include changing and washing pillowcases, washing hands often throughout the day, and not sharing towels or eye solutions with anyone.
For discomfort and swelling you may try cold compresses, as Costas has said he is doing frequently. Pink eye may also occur with other illnesses such as a cold or respiratory infection. Depending on the type and severity of pink eye you have, a doctor may prescribe antiobiotic drops or ointment, antihistamines, or anti-inflammatory medicines. Once you begin to treat pink eye, symptoms can start to ease up within a few days. You can ask your doctor when you (or your child) can resume regular activity without worsening the infection or spreading it to others.
As for me, I hope to see Bob Costas back in the chair where he belongs as quickly as he can get there.
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