Anderson Cooper was temporarily blinded last week while on assignment in Portugal, the talk show host revealed Tuesday.
On location for a "60 Minutes" story, Cooper was blinded by a UV light that bounced off of water. He posted a picture on his Twitter page of him wearing an eye patch and described the incident further on his daytime show "Anderson Live," who had alongside him as guest co-host Christie Brinkley.
"I am in this beautiful coastal area shooting this story for '60 Minutes' involving the water," Cooper said Tuesday. "I don't want to go into details [on] what the story was, but I am on the water for two hours shooting this story and it's an overcast day.
"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.' I douse my eyes with water. Anyway, it turns out I have sunburned my eyeballs and I go blind. I went blind for 36 hours."
Cooper added that he had to go to the hospital but the doctor in Portugal did not speak English so he did not really understand the condition.
On Tuesday's show, he called in NBC's Chief Medical Editor, Nancy Snyderman, who said that Cooper's incident occurred because of UVA and UVB rays of the sun reflecting off the water and very light colored eyes, such as Cooper's, are more susceptible to getting sunburned.. To avoid sunburn of the eyes, people must wear sunglasses as protection, Snyderman said.
"Frankly, everyone needs sunglasses," she said. "Later in life people get cataracts- totally preventable if people just wore sunglasses in their lives. You burned your retina and that temporary blindness is really common. Fortunately for you, you're gonna be fine."
Regarding his Twitter picture, Cooper jokingly said on air, "That's my new Match.com profile picture by the way. I think that's going to really work for me."