Anderson Cooper Gets ‘Sunburned Eyeballs,’ Goes Temporarily Blind

"I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my eyes are on fire," the TV journalist said.

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Randy Holmes / ABC via Getty Images

Anderson Cooper has dodged explosions in Gaza and braved rioters in Egypt, so he probably never thought he’d be putting himself in danger with a trip to Portugal last week. But as ET reported, while on assignment for CBS’s 60 Minutes the journalist spent several hours on a boat on an overcast day — and woke up later that night to discover he couldn’t see.

The 45-year-old tweeted an Instagram photo of his face with a white patch over his right eye on Tuesday afternoon:


Within two hours, more than 500 well-wishers had already commented on the photo.

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Cooper described his 36 hours of blindness during today’s broadcast of his CNN talk show, Anderson Live, telling viewers that he didn’t know sun exposure could cause him to lose his sight.

“I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my eyes are on fire — my eyeballs — and I think, oh maybe I have sand in my eyes or something,” he said. “I douse my eyes with water. Anyway, it turns out I have sunburned my eyeballs and I go blind.”

Despite the painful experience, the broadcast personality remained good-humored about the incident, showing several pictures of himself sporting eye patches.

“That’s my new profile picture by the way,” he joked. “I think that’s going to really work for me.”

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