Have you ever wondered why Bono, the frontman for U2, wears his trademark sunglasses inside, year-round?
It’s because he has glaucoma.
Mayo Clinic defines glaucoma as “a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision.” This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.
Symptoms can include:
- Eye pain or pressure
- Rainbow-colored halos around lights
- Low vision, blurred vision, narrowed vision (tunnel vision), or blind spot
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red eyes
In Bono’s case, the sunglasses are to help him reduce the amount of light and glare harming his super-sensitive eyes. Without the glasses, normal indoor lights cause him pain.
The CDC warns that “Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma and should have a dilated eye exam every 2 years,” stating that certain groups are most at risk:
- African Americans 40 years and older
- All adults older than 60, especially Mexican Americans
- People with a family history of glaucoma
It’s important to know that most diseases that cause blindness, like glaucoma and diabetes, can be treated or slowed down if diagnosed and managed correctly.
The most common treatment of glaucoma is usually prescription eye drops that must be taken regularly. In some cases, systemic medications, laser treatment, or other surgery may be required. While there is not yet a cure, early diagnosis and continuing treatment can preserve eyesight.
The best way to avoid serious eye conditions is to get regular eye exams. Comprehensive eye exams play a critical role for optometrists in diagnosing the disease early. You can visit the American Optometry Association’s website to find a local doctor in your state.
It seems as though Bono is managing quite well. Glaucoma has obviously neither slowed him down nor thwarted his creative vision. We can’t help but wonder, though, if he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for…