Olympic Vision: Eye Infection in Sports


Athletes are familiar with the risk of being sidelined for injuries.  It’s a risk that comes with sport, but you want to avoid them if you can.  One upper body injury that you want to try to avoid is the eye infection.  Most following the Olympics are familiar that NBC news anchor Bob Costas was sidelined from Olympic coverage for a few days because of an eye infection.  I was watching Day 2 coverage when I said to my wife, “Hey, it looks like Bob is developing some type of conjunctivitis”; sure enough, Bob was pulled from coverage the next day due to red eyes, sensitivity to light and the need to wear glasses.  While NBC had Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira to cover for him, athletes may not have that luxury.

The risk of eye infections due to contact lens wear can be significantly reduced by wearing a daily disposable lens.  Wearing a contact lens even once will allow proteins and lipids to deposit on the lens.  These deposits then give something for bacteria to adhere to and are a major factor in contact lens related eye infections.  You can minimize the chance of infection by replacing your lenses every single day.  Ideally athletes should wear daily disposable lenses.