A global icon, philanthropist, rockstar, and fan of sunglasses: Bono, the lead singer of the world-famous band U2, is rarely seen without sunglasses. This was thought to be part of his rockstar image, but his reasons are more medical than aesthetic. And if one of the most well-known figures in the music industry is wearing sunglasses daily, you should too. Read on to learn more.
Why Bono Wears Sunglasses
In 2014, Bono admitted he's been struggling with glaucoma, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness if not treated, since the 90s. One of the symptoms of the disease is a serious sensitivity to camera flashes and other bright lights. Though Bono has been through treatment and is on the path to recovery, he continues to wear his favorite shades both indoors and out.
Unfortunately, Bono's sensitivity to light won't go away as damage to the optic nerve can't be undone. On the bright side, he got a diagnosis before he completely lost his sight. Since glaucoma doesn't initially affect your vision, it's very important to get regular eye exams to spot warning signs sooner.
Though we don't recommend wearing sunglasses indoors unless you have extreme light sensitivity like Bono, we can recommend wearing them outdoors to everyone.
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Why You Should Too
Human eyes are fragile and need to be protected. Though glaucoma is usually a genetic condition, there are other health benefits to wearing sunglasses daily. Here are just a few conditions linked to excessive UV exposure.
Cataracts occur when the eye's lens becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision and duller colors. Though poorer eyesight is part of the aging process, studies have shown that wearing sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV light helps to reduce your risk for age-related cataracts.
Pterygium (Surfer's Eye)
Exposure to sunlight and UV radiation is the primary cause of pterygium, also called surfer's eye. This is an elevated bump on the surface of the eye that can invade the cornea and cause eye irritation or poor vision over time. Though it's removable with a simple surgery, it is often a recurring condition. The best prevention for surfer's eye is to wear wrap sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection, plus polarization if you spend a lot of time on the water.
Photokeratitis (Eye Sunburn)
Photokeratitis is the result of your eyes being exposed to UV light without proper protection and, similarly to a sunburn on the skin, manifests hours later as an itching, irritating sensation. Like a regular sunburn, photokeratitis will usually subside on its own after a few days. But repeated exposure to UV light without proper protection can lead to long-term eye problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration (a disease that affects central vision). Since you can't apply sunscreen to your eyes, wearing sunglasses with good coverage in bright conditions is the best thing you can do to prevent photokeratitis.
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Are Kids at Risk?
Though the sunglass market is primarily designed for the adult demographic, kids need shades as much as anyone else. The dangerous side effects of not wearing sunglasses are also products of long-term strain. In other words, if kids aren't wearing sunglasses, their eyes will be more prone to the risks above. Though quality sunglasses can be expensive, you only get two eyes. Kids are never too young for sunglasses.
Sunglasses at SportRx
Regardless of if you like U2's music, having superstars like Bono discuss the importance of eye health helps bring awareness to more people. On the lookout for a new pair of sunglasses? Prescription or not, we can help you get hooked up with your dream pair of sunglasses at SportRx. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, Contact Us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians.
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