Josh Hamilton has not played in a game since he took himself out against the Angels with what was then called a "sinus problem." He has missed the better part of a week since. For a while there, people weren't sure what was going on. Migraines, sinus headaches, depressed levels of intestinal fortitude. Hamilton said he felt like he was fixated on one spot and couldn't stop himself from staring. He also had problems balancing.
For such a mysterious condition, it's got a pretty common cause according to Hamilton: caffeine. Hamilton had been suffering from ocular keratitis, an eye condition that dries out the cornea and can cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
Hamilton, 31, said he plans to back off the caffeine, which included chocolate after games and an energy drink before games — not to mention what he was consuming all day long.
"I was loading up on caffeine, and I'm out there in the bright lights," Hamilton said. "I can't control my eyes. They are stuck."
That's a pretty weird cause. Another weird cause? Herpes. In fact, you'll see a lot of mention of herpes simplex when looking into keratitis and even a mention of chlamydia. Not a whole lot about caffeine, however.
There are lots of other potential causes, though, so let's not focus merely on the sexy herpes. Issues related to contact lens use are prevalent and, for our purposes here, relevant. Hamilton, last June, started wearing contacts because he has long suffered from sensitivity to light. Photophobia is a symptom of keratitis, though, so we may have a chicken/egg scenario. Physical injury to the eye itself, is another cause. Chemicals in water, like a chlorinated pool, can also cause keratitis, but Mayo Clinic notes that there typically needs to be a previous injury to the cornea for the contaminated water to get in before any harm occurs.
Anyway, just to be safe, Hamilton is going to dial it down on the caffeine. The poor guy. No booze. No drugs and now no chocolate, no coffee and no Red Bull? Guy can't catch a break.
Josh Hamilton back in lineup [ESPN Dallas]