Kanye West's Eye Doc Weighs In on Busy Philipps' Sunburned Eyes

Busy Philipps - Michaels host a celebration of the season's greatest DIY gifts - Getty-H 2018
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Philipps promises to tell the full story soon on her "We're No Doctors" podcast.

"Who knew that this was even a thing?" actress Busy Philipps asked in an Instagram post yesterday after checking in to the ER at Cedars-Sinai hospital in L.A. in the middle of the night due to a sunburn — on her eyes.

Philipps says she got the burn during a long cover shoot for an undisclosed magazine. "Gonna tell you the whole story on this week's @nodocspodcast but spent last night at Cedars after I couldn't sleep because it felt like there were shards of glass in both eyes. I have photo keratitis from bright lights/sun exposure!" wrote the 38-year-old actress, who shared photos of herself in the hospital.

Maybe the story will work in Philipps' favor as an unplanned promotion for her hypochondriac-focused podcast, “We’re No Doctors,” launched last summer with actor Steve Agee. Philipps also made hospital-driven headlines in September when she landed in a Boston emergency room with a self-described "flipped ovary," another incident she mentioned on Instagram.

So is photokeratitis a thing? We haven't heard of any other film or photo shoot-related incidents in Hollywood — although CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper reported a case of photokeratitis in 2012 after boating for hours in Portugal. The Hollywood Reporter asked Dr. Mitchell Cassell of Studio Optix in New York City (whose starry client list includes Kanye West, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, who he also recently worked with on eye color changes for the 2019 film The Irishman) to weigh in on the issue.

"Yes, it could happen if they were doing extremely close shots with a long duration of light exposure," says Cassel of Phillips' case, pointing out that to have something like this happen on a photo shoot would be "a stretch" and not the norm. "Photokeratitis can be very painful and cause tearing, extreme redness and extreme pain! Solar eclipse can also cause this, or staring in the sun or even reflections from sunlight off water or other surfaces. And it can be harmful to the outside of your eye, the cornea, which has cells and nerves that can be extremely challenged by extreme sunlight."

The good news is that symptoms usually disappear in a day or two, and Philipps appears to be back up to speed, posting pics shortly afterward from her daughter Cricket's preschool play. Sounds like we'll have to tune in to the next episode of "We're No Doctors" to hear the full story.