It turns out that U2 frontman Bono has a legitimate reason behind a signature fashion item which was assumed to be all about style. Bono is photographed all the time, with and without his band mates, but never without his sunglasses. Recently while sitting with British talk show host, Graham Norton, Bono made the confession, “I have Glaucoma.” This being the first mention of the condition, it was even more of a shock when he also admitted that he has had it “for the last 20 years.”
Glaucoma is an ocular disorder that causes damage of the optic nerve. It worsens over time, and when it is not properly treated. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, it is more common in people over the age of 60. U2’s Bono is currently 54 years old, which would have made him a mere 35 at that time of his diagnosis. Such an early diagnosis is quite rare.
The Grammy award winner’s condition was revealed after an eye exam in which he told the optometrist, “I don’t really need an eye exam because I’ve got perfect vision.” A statement that Bono thought would allow him to skip an unwanted routine check-up, turned out to be exactly what caused speculation. The doctor proceeded to investigate Bono’s professed perfect vision.
In Bono’s reenactment of the visit, the doctor showed some concern, stating, “Oh, that’s one of the signs of — Oh you wouldn’t have.” Of course, he was referring to the musician’s young age. Bono’s re-enactment continued, “[Then they ask] have you ever had strange visions and steam coming into the room, and rings around lights?” These were questions to which Bono had to answer affirmatively. He goes on to say, “And I went, oh yeah — and it’s not from anything exotic,” causing the audience to burst into laughter.
The singer is seen wearing his sunglasses at all times — even indoors. He keeps a positive attitude about his condition because he says that there are many good treatments for it. Instead of self-pitying, Bono jokes about the matter with Graham Norton by telling him that the information would be hard to forget, stating, “You will be saying ‘Ah, poor old blind Bono.” But, of course, Bono is not blind. In fact, wearing sunglasses is a treatment and preventative action in itself. The next time he’s spotted with one of his colored shades, fans can rest assured that he’s taking care of his health.