Whether they are orange, blue or purple, Bono is never without his sunglasses, and it isn’t just because they make him look like the suave rocker we know and love.
Bono also revealed that his shades serve a medical purpose that shocked everyone: The U2 singer has glaucoma. And he’s had the condition for more than 20 years.
Bono disclosed his condition during an interview with British talk show host Graham Norton. Bono was on the show with the rest of U2, along with actors Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall and Stephen Fry.
Norton showed some photos of Bono and the U2 guys in the early days, along with some hilarious comments like, “The early publicity shots, I mean, it really does not suggest that success is in your future.”
The photos really are that fantastic. Aside from the musicians’ perfect poses, the hair is probably the best part. And while the guys are missing a few strands now that they’re getting older, there are also a few additions, namely The Edge’s beanie and Bono’s ever-present glasses.
Norton, like the rest of us, couldn’t help but notice and asked Bono the question we were all thinking: “Do you ever take [the glasses] off?”
Which led to an answer no one was expecting.
“I have glaucoma — for the last 20 years,” Bono told the audience after making light of the situation by saying he felt like the interview was a “safe space.”
He went on to further explain that he was diagnosed after he started noticing objects and lights were accompanied by cloudiness, rings and fog (not from anything “exotic”), which is a symptom.
Glaucoma can lead to blindness, but Bono said he’s in good health.
“I have good treatments, and I am going to be fine,” he said. “You’re not going to get this out of your head now, and you will be saying, ‘Ah, poor old blind Bono.'”
During the show, Bono took off his signature shades and replaced them with a hilarious pair of oversized aviators. He then swapped shades with Downey, who was rocking a square-rimmed pair of spectacles.
“Do I look cleverer?” Bono joked.
Watch the full video interview, including Bono’s disclosure, below.