Anderson Cooper on Going Blind for 36 Hours (Video)

DOWN: Anderson Cooper

The CNN host's daytime talk show is canceled despite a relaunch in season two as he trails even newcomers Katie Couric and Steve Harvey in the competitive ratings race.

Anderson Cooper lost his vision -- and lived to tell the tale.

The CNN newsman went blind for 36 hours last week while on assignment for CBS' 60 Minutes in Portugal. Cooper relayed the experience on his daytime talk show Tuesday, with Christie Brinkley alongside him as guest co-host.

"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," says Cooper.

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"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. I went blind for 36 hours."

Cooper showed viewers a photo of himself sporting an eye patch after a trip to the hospital and another shot of an apparently futile attempt at taking a self-portrait on his smartphone.

"That's my new profile picture, by the way," he quipped. "I think that's going to really work for me."

Watch the video below.

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Twitter: @ErinLCarlson