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Bob Costas is usually our Olympics spirit guide, his smooth narration telling us everything we need to know. But this year, not everything is well in the world: Bob Costas has an eye infection. 

Costas welcomed us to the first night of programming for the Sochi Olympics on Thursday, but something was off. Despite the fact that Costas sat in an ice palace set worthy of Queen Elsa. Seeing him, in glasses, squinting out of his left eye, perhaps working through the pain, was oddly distressing. What hath Sochi wrought on our benevolent Olympics guide? He explained last night

Bear with me for a moment as I spare my friends in the press office countless inquiries. I have no choice to go all Peabody and Sherman on you for the next couple of nights since I woke up this morning with my left eye swollen shut and just about as red as the old Soviet flag. According to the NBC doctors here, it’s some kind of minor infection which should resolve itself by the weekend. If only all my issues would resolve themselves that quickly, but that’s another story.

Now, we were warned about this from none other than Meredith Vieira, who has apparently had her own share of Sochi troubles. 

How will Bob Costas's eye troubles affect our Olympic viewing experience? How long will this scourge last? We asked New York optometrist Jocelyn Cercone to weigh in. Though she said she isn't "comfortable giving my opinion on what his condition is without physically examining him," she was able to tell us " a bit about conditions that may cause a similar external presentation." She explained:

"Viral conjunctivitis (often known as pink eye) is an infectious condition that causes redness of the white part of the eye, swelling of the lid, and excessive tearing.  Bacterial conjunctivitis is an eye infection with a similar presentation as viral, but often accompanied by pus-like discharge.  Styes cause eyelid swelling and redness usually without accompanying redness of the white part of the eye.  They are caused by a blockage of the oil glands within the eyelid.  Eye infections can take anywhere from a week to months to heal, depending on the severity." 

Get better soon, Bob!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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