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Anderson Cooper sunburns his eyeballs, goes blind for 36 hours

Anderson Cooper sunburns his eyeballs, goes blind for 36 hours

Anderson Cooper got more than he bargained for when he went to Portugal to shoot a story for 60 Minutes: temporary blindness.

The newsman told the audience of his daytime talk show Anderson Live Tuesday (4 December) about the incident that occurred after he spent two hours on the water in a coastal area under overcast skies working on the story.

‘I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my eyes are on fire – my eyeballs,’ Cooper said.

He thinks maybe he has sand in his eyes and douses them with water.

It does not help.

‘It turns out I have sunburned my eyeballs and I go blind,’ he explained. ‘I went blind for about 36 hours.’

He went to the hospital and was treated by a doctor who did not speak English and was unable to understand exactly what happened to him. He Googled ‘burned eyeballs’ but was barely able to see what he was reading.

‘I had no idea you could do this and I actually want to warn people about this,’ Cooper said. ‘I didn’t realize you could actually burn your eyeballs.’

NBC Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman called into the show and said it’s a reminder ‘that everybody needs sunglasses. Anyone with pale blue or green eyes isn’t going to be able to keep the light out as much.’

Snyderman said suffering a burnt retina is quite common and told Cooper his was a ‘one-time offense. You’re going to be just fine.’