Bob Costas famously had to take a six-day absence from his Olympic coverage in Sochi due to pink eye which was reported last week to have been caused by Botox.
While NBC Sports told the NY Post’s Page Six who wrote the initial story, “This has zero truth to this. Zero,” we wanted to learn if it is even possible to get pink eye from Botox. So we asked a couple of our LocateADoc.com doctors about the possibility and if there are any other risks from Botox.
“There is no possible way to get conjunctivitis from a Botox injection,” Dr. Stephen Weinman who practices at the Essence MediSpa out of Highland, NY told us. “Botox is a sterile injection given into a muscle in the face. It has nothing to do with the eyes. Period. That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. The only common side effect of Botox injection is slight redness at the injection site which lasts an hour. All other side effects are quite rare and don't include conjunctivitis.”
Dr. Thomas Wright, of the Laser Lipo and Vein Center in metropolitan St. Louis, agreed saying it is highly unlikely.
“Pink eye is usually caused by a virus, which is highly infectious,” Dr Wright said. “It can be caused by bacteria or and a some other less likely causes but it is most commonly caused by virus.”
It is quite common for “pink-eye” to spread to both eyes, which is the case with Costas, Wright said. Since he started with right eye redness followed by left eye redness a few days later, the pattern of one followed several days later with the other eye “speaks strongly that medical cause of the eye redness is infection.”
Wright, who is a an Allergen gold level Botox injector and has been using Botox for over 10 years, also added that the risk for pink eye is increased for people who use contact lenses as Costas does.
“I believe the confusion around the cause of Mr. Costas’ infection arises from the fact that there is a very rare complication called corneal ulceration that can occur from over treatment of Botox near the eyes resulting in a person’s inability to completely close their eye properly,” Wright said. “This can lead to dry eyes and possible ulceration of the cornea.
“I have extensive experience treating ‘pink-eye’ and injecting Botox. Mr. Costas did not show signs on his broadcasts of poor eye contraction; therefore, although I have no direction knowledge of his medical condition, I believe his problem was caused by viral conjunctivitis or ‘pink-eye’ and not from a very rare complication of Botox use.”
Learn about the causes procedure information, recovery process, cost, doctor reviews, and more within the Botox Resource Guide. To consult with doctor who performs Botox, look through LocateADoc.com profiles to find a specialist in your area.