Journalist Anderson Cooper has braved many dangerous situations, so who would have thought that a simple trip for an assignment to Portugal could leave the 45-year-old blinded in one eye for almost two days.
Cooper posted a picture of himself on Instagram Dec. 4 with a white gauze patch over his right eye. He wrote, "Temporarily blinded last week while on assignment. UV light bouncing off water. Much better now. Details today on #andersonlive," reported People Magazine.
During his daytime talk show, "Anderson Cooper Live," Cooper explained that he was blinded for 36 hours while he was on an assignment in Portugal for his show "60 Minutes" last week.
TheRecordHerald.com quoted him as saying: "I am in this beautiful coastal area shooting this story for "60 Minutes" involving the water." "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," he explained.
"Anyway, it turns out I have sunburned my eyeballs and I go blind. I went blind for 36 hours. I took this picture of me after I went to a hospital," he concluded.
Even after a painful experience, the talk show host had the good sense of humor to joke about the incident. He said, "That's my new Match.com profile picture, by the way. I think that's going to really work for me."
However, Cooper was in a dangerous situation and should have considered himself lucky that there was no permanent damage. He consulted Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's Chief Medical Editor, on his show to spread awareness about the importance of eye protection.
Dr. Snyderman explained that the light reflecting off the water burned his eyes, and he could have easily avoided the accident by wearing sunglasses, reported People Magazine.
She said, "It's a reminder that frankly everyone needs sunglasses." "Later in life people get cataracts [that are] totally preventable if people just wore sunglasses through their lives - on the water, on the beach, on the slopes," she advised.
She further told Cooper, "You burned your retina and that temporary blindness is really common. Fortunately, for you, you're going to be fine but it's a real reminder," reported Daily Mail.