Why Does U2 frontman Bono always wear sunglasses?

3 April 2019, 17:43 | Updated: 10 May 2021, 14:28

The One rocker's trademark glasses have been a part of his look for decades, but theres a very good reason for them.

There's no denying that Bono is amongst the most famous musicians in the world.

The U2 frontman is not only an artist who only needs just one name, but he's also got an iconic image to match.

U2 Bono at The O2 London at U2's eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour
U2 Bono at The O2 London at U2's eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

The Irish rocker - whose real name is Paul David Hewson and who's known for donning all black and coloured sunglasses - can almost be drawn from memory.

But the With or Without You rocker didn't always wear the tinted glasses, often bearing his baby face in the band's early years.

U2 frontman Bono in the late 1980s
U2 frontman Bono in the late 1980s. Picture: Aaron Rapoport/CORBIS OUTLINE/Corbis via Getty Images

However, it wasn't long before Bono began donning shades of different... well, shades.

It isn't just a case of fashion over function, however, and there's a good reason why Bono has been wearing the different coloured spectacles for so many years.

Why does Bono always wear sunglasses?

Bono has a condition called glaucoma, which he's suffered from for decades.

In an appearance on BBC One's Graham Norton Show, when asked by the titular host if he ever takes his shades off, the Elevation singer revealed: “This is a good place to explain to people [...] that I’ve had glaucoma for the last 20 years."

The rocker added jokingly: “You’re not going to get this out of your head now and you will be saying, ‘Ah, poor old blind Bono.’”

Watch the interview below, courtesy of BBC America:

Why U2's Bono Wears Sunglasses - The Graham Norton Show on BBCAmerica

Glaucoma is also one of many conditions which causes photophobia or light sensitivity and tinted, lightweight, wrap around glasses like Bono wears are known to alleviate this sensitivity.

What is glaucoma?

According to nhs.co.uk, "Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged.

"It's usually caused by fluid building up in the front part of the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye.Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if it isn't diagnosed and treated early.

"It can affect people of all ages but is most common in adults in their 70s and 80s."

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma doesn't usually have symptoms to begin with but it may affect your peripheral vision and include

- Blurred vision

- Seeing rainbow coloured circles around bright lights

If glaucoma develops suddenly it can cause:

- Intense eye pain

- Nausea and vomiting

- Blurred vision and seeing rings around lights

- A headache

- Tenderness around the eyes

- Light sensitivity

How do you treat glaucoma?

Treatments for glaucoma include:

- Eye drops to reduce the pressure in your eyes

- Laser treatment - to open up blocked drainage tubes and reduce fluid in the eyes

- Surgery to improve fluid drainage

- Alleviating light sensitivity with tinted glasses

Are there any other famous people with glaucoma?

Whoopi Goldberg

Andrea Bocelli

Former Dutch footballer Edgar Davids

READ MORE: Where did U2 get their name from?