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Medical Edge: Pink Eye

FT. MITCHELL, Ky. (Liz Bonis) -- Bob Costas will miss broadcasting from the Olympics 2014, for the first time in 157 strait Olympic nights, because apparently pink eye has spread from one eye to the other.

Doctor Michelle Howell is an optometrist who has treated plenty of patients with pink eye or conjunctivitis as it's also known. "It's actually a viral infection, highly contagious that makes your eye red, swollen or tearing, there's no actual mucus discharge, if you have that then it's bacterial, not viral."
While no-one has confirmed what kind Costas has, Doctor Howell says like any virus it usually has to run its course. And the fact that it's spread from one eye to the other, "that's actually very normal it usually starts in one eye and spreads to the other, because when you lay on your pillow or wash your face, everything is easily transferred from one eye to the other, so usually it starts in one eye goes to the other and it's about 14 days before it's totally gone."  After about a week, it's not likely that it's still contagious.

A trip to the pharmacy might be needed for artificial tears or steroid drops for viral conjunctivitis to ease symptoms. Antibiotics treat the bacterial infection.
So here is what you need to know about it , if you think you might be getting pink eye.  Handwashing is recommended, especially if someone around you has it. It's also important to note that while you can get treatment from a primary care doctor or even an urgent care facility, an eye doctor may be a really important part of your treatment team.

Doctor Howell says that's because an eye specialist has equipment that allows for a dye in the eye and magnification to be sure you get a proper diagnosis, which may or may not be pink eye. "So if there's any scratches, ulcers, you can see them very easily so they glow a different color."

It's suggested you don't go more than 24 hours without seeing an eye care professional, if you think you might have pink eye.




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