U2 frontman Bono reportedly wears sunglasses indoors due to the medical condition of having glaucoma, which makes it impossible for him to go without them whenever there is bright lights around. The singer revealed his affliction during a recent interview on The Graham Norton Show, which took place this past Friday.
The issue came up when Norton asked the singer if he ever removed his sunglasses, to which he replied that he felt it was time the world knew the real reason behind why he has always worn the shades on a constant basis. He then revealed that he has suffered from the condition of glaucoma for the past 20 years, and that wearing the shades indoors is a form of relieving the pain rather than trying to maintain a certain image. He assured his fans that he is receiving treatment for the ailment, however, and that he will be just fine. Bono then joked that people who had been accusing him of wearing the shades to look cool would now be feeling bad about themselves, and that they would not be able to get the real reason out of their mind while they felt sorry for him.
Indeed, it has been widely speculated over the past few decades that the Ireland native used the glasses as an image booster, in the same way that many celebrities have a signature accessory piece that they have turned into their trademark of sorts. Bono has certainly made a name for himself by donning the shades, keeping things interesting by switching up the style and color on a regular basis before shows or interviews.
Glaucoma itself is quite a serious eyesight condition, in which a buildup of pressure in the eyeball results in the optic nerve being potentially damaged, and if left untreated for too long can result in permanent blindness. Bright lights can increase the level of aforementioned pressure on the eyeball, thus causing many afflicted with the condition to resort to wearing sunglasses in order to dim down the level of light being cast upon their eyes. Depending on the severity of the glaucoma, it is sometimes possible to wear sunglasses upon their head in order to defer the light. Former Canadian Idol contestant Billy Klippert spent most of the show’s first season donning a pair of shades atop his head for this exact reason, something he was similarly scrutinized for before the public became aware of his affliction.
Bono himself has certainly been receiving his fair share of media attention in the past month. In September, Apple users were both baffled and annoyed to find that U2’s newest album, entitled Songs of Innocence, had been uploaded to their iTunes account without their permission following the launch of the newest iPhone. Company CEO Tim Cook was blasted with tweets and other social media updates following the release of the album, with users informing him of how rude they thought it was to force music they may or may not enjoy onto their devices. Bono has since apologized for the event, attributing it to the band’s fear that their new album might be rejected by the general public and result in their new songs not being heard. He admits that the move was not respectful to Apple users, and regrets the fact that he and the company became far too carried away with what was supposed to be a simple attempt to plug the new record.
It remains to be seen whether U2 frontman Bono’s condition of glaucoma will ever be treated well enough for him to remove his signature shades in public. For the time being, however, the affliction is reportedly being handled in the best manner possible.
By Rebecca Grace