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Sure Signs You Have Glaucoma Like Bono

Yes, that’s why he wears sunglasses all the time.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

U2 frontman Bono, 62, is known for wearing his trademark sunglasses year round—but the reason has nothing to do with fashion. "This is a good place to explain to people that I've had glaucoma for the last 20 years. I have good treatments and I am going to be fine," Bono explained on the BBC's Graham Norton show back in 2014. "Most diseases that cause blindness, like glaucoma and diabetes, can be treated or slowed down if they're diagnosed and managed properly," says ophthalmologist Michael Millstein, MD. Here are five signs of glaucoma, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


What Is Glaucoma?

close-up of woman's hazel eyes

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that lead to damage to the optic nerve, and the leading cause of irreversible blindness. "Given that patients are almost certain to feel some fear, one of the most important things you can do is reassure the patient during the first few visits, especially when the disease is first diagnosed," says Ralph M. Sanchez, MD, MPH. "Make sure the patient understands that glaucoma is very treatable, something that can be controlled, and that very few patients go blind from it."


What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

man with headache holding water

According to the Cleveland Clinic, common symptoms of glaucoma are:

  • Eye pain or pressure
  • Headaches
  • Rainbow-colored halos around lights
  • Low vision, blurred vision, narrowed vision (tunnel vision) or blind spots
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red eyes


What Are the Risk Factors For Glaucoma?

Middle age hispanic man using laptop sitting on the floor at the living room touching mouth with hand with painful expression.

"Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma and should have a dilated eye exam every 2 years," advises the CDC, saying the following 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


How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Closeup of eyedropper putting liquid into open eye.

"The treatment of glaucoma is aimed at reducing intraocular pressure," says David C. Ardaya, O.D., M.H.A. "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 for glaucoma, early diagnosis and continuing treatment can preserve eyesight."


How Can I Avoid Glaucoma?

Asian senior woman sitting at optometrist's office while doctor wearing optometrist trial frame on her face to check her eyesight

The best way to avoid serious eye conditions is to get regular eye exams. "Only regular comprehensive eye exams can protect your vision from glaucoma," says Dr. Ardaya. "By enabling optometrists to diagnose the disease at an early stage, comprehensive eye exams play a critical role in successful outcomes for patients. Anyone can visit the American Optometry Association's website to find a local doctor or their state optometric association." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan