Eye Infection Causes Bob Costas to Step Down as the Host of the Olympics Prime Time Show on NBC

Article information courtesy of Sports Illustrated 

Many Olympics viewers were alerted to Bob Costas’ eye irritation during the NBC prime time news coverage for the Sochi Winter Olympics Games. He made views aware of his eye condition from the very start. He switched from wearing contact lenses to glasses while being treated for this infection, but the redness and irritation progressed and Costas’ prime time seat was replaced by Matt Lauer.

The redness and irritation was diagnosed as a viral infection. Costas has been receiving treatment, but as with any virus, it must run its course. Costas hopes that the symptoms will improve so he can return to the broadcast. These symptoms were not only making his eyes red and look sore, but his eyes were also very watery and his vision had become blurry due to the irritation. This infection was inhibiting his ability to properly perform his job duties.

From an ophthalmologist’s point of view, the use of contact lenses can not only cause eye infections, but they can also play a role in spreading those infections. It is always important to make sure contact lens solution is new, and that contact lenses are not being worn past their necessary time limits, and that the user’s hands are clean when putting contact lenses in and taking them out. However, even with these precautions, infections due to or enhanced by contact lenses can still occur. It is recommended to switch to eye glasses if any symptoms arise.

Vision correction, such as LASIK, can also play a role in reducing the likelihood of contracting such infections. Those who have had LASIK or PRK laser procedures are reducing the daily risk of eye infections due to contacts. Although the risks of laser vision correction are still a concern for some patients, the risks are still considerably lower than that of a daily contact lens wearer.

Matt Lauer has taken the spot of Bob Costas as the host of the NBC prime time show. This is the first time since 1988 that Costas has not hosted the prime time show, ending a streak of 157 consecutive prime time appearances in NBC’s Olympic coverage between Summer and Winter Games.