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January 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the January, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Anderson Cooper Goes Blind. Yes, you can burn your eyeballs. That's what happened to this CNN newsman when he spent two hours on a boat in Portugal without sunglasses and ended up blind for 36 hours. As he said on his talk show Anderson Live, "I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like my eyes are on fire, and I think, 'Maybe I have sand in them.' I douse my eyes with water. Anyway, it turns out I have sunburned my eyeballs." He had a case of photokeratitis, which happens when UV light reflected off water, sand or snow burns the cornea. It usually starts a few hours after coming in from the sun, and while the effects are temporary, it can be so painful that people feel they can't open their eyes, as Cooper experienced. So even if the sun doesn't seem very bright while standing on that dive boat, don't forget your UV light-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hat....


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