Find Out What Caused Anderson Cooper to Go Blind

The talk-show host explained that exposure to the sun caused him to temporarily lose his sight

Anderson Cooper was blinded by the light -- literally. During a recent trip to the coast of Portugal, the CNN anchor was unexpectedly struck with an eye injury that left him unable to see for a full 36 hours. After posting a picture of his eyepatch on Instagram, Cooper explained what happened on Tuesday's Anderson Live.

Watch the clip below!


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While chatting with the audience and guest Christie Brinkley, Cooper explained that he spent was in Portugal to shoot a story for 60 Minutes.

"I'm on the water for two hours shooting this story (in a) beautiful place in Portugal," said Cooper, showing off this idyllic-looking photo of the sunset. But soon, things got a lot less pretty.

"I wake up in the middle of the night and I feel like my eyeballs are on fire. I think, oh, well maybe I have sand in my eyes or something. I doused my eyes with water," he recalled. "It turns out, I have sunburned my eyeballs. And I went blind for about 36 hours."

Scary! According to a medical expert consulted on the show, Cooper's eyeball sunburn is the same thing that causes "snow blindness" in skiiers -- just, in his case, the burned retina was caused by light reflected off the ocean. The doctor's recommendation? Wear sunglasses next time!

Seeing as Anderson Cooper regularly reports from war zones and disaster areas, he wasn't too traumatized by his experience with temporary blindness. He even showed his embarrassing post-hospital selfies to the audience.

"I took this picture of me after I went to the hospital. That's my new profile picture, by the way," Cooper joked. "I think that's gonna really work for me."

You know, even with an eyepatch and a sunburn, we suspect that Cooper would do just fine on

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