Bono has finally revealed why he wears his shades indoors, and it is not just to make him look “cool.” In fact, he put it forward that wearing sunglasses indoors is not because he wants to look like “ a douch.” There is a medical reason behind it all. Bono says his shades help with pain.
The U2 frontman suffers from glaucoma, and has done for the last 20 years. The condition is a debilitating disease and can lead to total blindness. Many patients who suffered from it 20 years ago did end up blind, but Bono has been receiving treatment to help slow the progress of the disease down.
According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K., the condition is due to pressure building up within the eye. While it can affect both, it usually occurs in one eye before the other, and it can lead to optic nerve and retina nerve fiber damage. The optic nerve connects the brain and eye, and once damage is often irreparable. The retina is at the back of the eye and can be repaired if caught quickly enough.
There are different types of glaucoma, but the Irish singer has not explained which one he has. He simply said that it was time he told the truth. Those who believed he wore the shades to make him look “cool,” may feel guilty for ever thinking that. He admitted it all on the Graham Norton show, and told his fans they should not worry about him.
Bono is receiving the needed treatment. The shades are not part of that, but help to alleviate some of the pain Bono feels. The bright lights can cause issues, especially if the retina or optic nerve are damaged.
It is important that patients receive treatment as soon as possible. It is not possible to reverse the effects of glaucoma, but it can be slowed down. Surgery is the most extensive treatment option, but it can be slowed down through laser treatment and eye drops. Once a person has it, there is no curing it yet.
Scientists are not sure the full reason why glaucoma can occur. There seems to be a genetic link. In the U.K., patients who have parents or siblings with glaucoma are advised to see the optician once a year from the age of 40, rather than every two years. Each visit will also usually involve a check of the pressure at the back of the eye to help catch it early. Those over 40 are also able to get a free eye test once a year in England and Wales.
Bono and his band have been in the news a lot recently. They were recently involved in the iTunes “issue” where all customers received the Songs of Innocence album for free. It was a promo event so Apple could show just what it could do, and it allowed U2 to get the new album out there. However, a number of iTunes users were angry at the idea of Apple just dropping an album into their iTunes accounts that they could not then get rid of. Apple introduced a way to delete the album completely. Bono was promoting his album when he confessed the real reason for the shades, and they are just to help with some of the pain he feels.
By Alexandria Ingham