The Real Reason Why Bono is the “Imelda Marcos of Sunglasses”

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The Real Reason Why Bono is the “Imelda Marcos of Sunglasses

Finding it odd that U2 front man Bono was hardly ever seen without tinted glasses, Rolling Stones Magazine asked the singer a few years back for the reason. Bono replied that it was partly due to vanity, privacy and a light sensitivity, declaring himself to be “the Imelda Marcos of sunglasses.” Last year we found out that there was a bit more to the story.

Paul David Hewson – or Bono to his fans – has been the leader singer and front man to rock band U2 since 1976. For almost 40 years they have helped shape the industry with a series of songs and albums full of meaningful messages about the way in which we live and treat one another. With 22 Grammy Awards to date the band, and Bono, are also recognized for their interest and activism in important social issues around the globe. He was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for his impact on helping those in need in Africa. This, despite the fact that for the last 20 years, his signature sunglasses have been hiding the fact that he suffers from glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness around the world, yet if caught early on it is completely treatable. It results from a build-up of fluid in the eyes, which causes pressure to the optic nerve. Unless treated, the optic nerve can be permanently damaged causing blindness in one or both of the eyes.

Bono, Glaucoma and Blue Tinted Sunglasses

During an interview on television in October of last year, the host jokingly asked Bono about his apparent love for sunglasses, and whether or not he ever took them off. The crowd’s laughter was quickly silenced as the rock legend explained how he has been receiving treatments for glaucoma for the past 20 years. The disease causes the eyes to become ultra sensitive to UV rays, which explains the blue tinted glasses. This type of tinting maximizes protection from those types of damaging sun rays. And since UV lighting can also be found indoors, Bono has just found it easier to keep his eyes protected by keeping his shades on at all times.

As Bono has proven, eye diseases do not need to be the end of your sight if you get regular treatments and take protective measures. Glaucoma screening is a regular part of most eye exams, allowing for early detection and treatment to avoid blindness.

The band continues to rock on as always, with Bono of course sporting his iconic sunglass look. He openly admits to owning hundreds of pairs of sunglasses, but prefers designers Dolce & Gabbana and Bulgari as favorite brands. You don’t need to be suffering from an eye disease to recreate the look of rocks most outspoken world advocate. Designer frames like those worn by Bono can be easily obtained at reasonable prices if you just know where to look.

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