Cooper said he spent two hours on the water filming a story and in spite of the fact that it was an overcast day, he woke up in the middle of the night with burning eyes and realized that exposure to the sun during the shooting had caused him eye trouble.
He said: "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."
Cooper, whose blindness lasted for 36 hours, said he did not know it was possible for sun exposure to cause blindness. He said he visited a Portuguese doctor, and showed some photos in which he was wearing patches over his eyes. He said: "That's my new Match.com profile picture by the way, I think that's going to really work for me."
His co-host Christie Brinkley said that she too experienced sunburning during a skiing trip.
are sensitive to sun exposure. Sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation prevent sunburning damage to the eyes.
Sunburning of the eyes are due to sun rays reflected from the surface of snow or water.
According to the Daily Mail
, NBC's Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman, said ultraviolet radiation reflected from the surface of the water caused Cooper's sunburn. 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."