The news anchor burned his retinas while filming a story in Portugal

By Julia Haskins
December 04, 2012 02:30 PM
Courtesy Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper can see once again after a temporary – and painful – bout of blindness.

Cooper posted a picture of himself on Instagram Tuesday sporting a white gauze patch over his right eye. “Temporarily blinded last week while on assignment,” he said. “UV light bouncing off water. Much better now. Details today on #andersonlive.”

On Anderson Cooper Live, he explained how he went blind over the weekend while filming a story for 60 Minutes on the coast of Portugal.

“I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my eyes are on fire,” he said. “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 the hospital.”

He then showed his audience his photo and joked, “That’s my new profile picture, by the way.”

But the potential damage he faced is no laughing matter, and Cooper had NBC’s chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, on to warn viewers about eye protection.

Snyderman said that the light reflected off the water burned his retinas, but that the hospital visit could have easily been avoided.

“It’s a reminder that frankly everyone needs sunglasses,” she advised. And to Cooper, she added, “Fortunately for you you’re going to be fine, but it’s a real reminder.”