U2 frontman Bono has revealed a 20-year battle with glaucoma is the reason why he’s never seen without his trademark sunglasses.

The Irish rock legend made the admission in a TV interview with Cork-born presenter Graham Norton on the BBC.

The confession dismisses the common belief that vanity was the sole reason for Bono’s infatuation with shades.
Instead the Dubliner revealed that his many sunglasses provide protection for his eyes.

But he insisted that his eyesight is fine despite the glaucoma, a condition which causes a build-up of pressure in the eyeball and can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if not treated.

The Irish Independent reports that Bandon native Norton asked on his show why Bono was never seen without his sunglasses.

Bono replied: “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.

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

The report adds that glaucoma can make eyes highly sensitive to light.

It says sunglasses make life more comfortable for glaucoma sufferers and also protect the eyes from the further damage of UV rays.

Appearing on the show to promote their new album ‘Songs Of Innocence’, U2 again replied to those who criticized their recent free release deal with iTunes.

Bono told Norton that those unhappy with the offer didn’t believe in the spirit of Christmas generosity.

He added: “We wanted to do something fresh but it seems some people don’t believe in Father Christmas.

“All those people who were uninterested in U2 are now mad at U2. As far as we are concerned, it’s an improvement.”