Cause of Glaucoma explained
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The 61-year-old frontman of U2 revealed on prime time television that the iconic glasses help with a chronic eye condition he has. It’s a condition that over 700,000 people in the UK have and is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60.
When questioned about whether he ever removes the glasses on The Graham Norton Show, the star said: “This is a good place to explain to people that I’ve had glaucoma for the last 20 years.”
Glaucoma is one of many eye conditions that damage the optic nerve – a part of the eye that is necessary for good vision.
It is caused by an abnormal amount of pressure in the eye and can occur at any age but is more common in older people.
Bono added: “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.’”
Although the loss of vision it can cause is irreversible, treatment can stop the sight from getting worse, according to the NHS.
Treatment can include eye drops, which lower eye pressure; laser treatment to open up blocked drainage tubes around the eye, and surgery to improve drainage.
One new treatment is called the MINIject drainage system. It involves implanting a tiny sponge into the corner of the eye to soak away the fluid causing the condition.
The high-density sponge is about 5mm long and about a millimetre wide.
After it collects the excess fluid, it drains it into the supraciliary space – a natural area where the eye deposits fluid.
For Bono, sunglasses are a part of his battle against the condition.
It is known that sunglasses can help reduce discomfort from light sensitivity as well as slow down symptoms of glaucoma.
However, according to Axonoptics, a therapeutic eyewear brand, sunglasses do not lower the pressure in your eyes or slow the progression of the condition.
Moreover, they suggest wearing sunglasses indoors as Bono does can “dark-adapt” your eyes, making them even more sensitive.
“So while you might feel some relief when you put them on, wearing sunglasses indoors is a bad idea,” it explains.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma doesn’t cause symptoms initially and develops slowly over years.
Moreover, unlike age-related macular degeneration, another common eye condition, it does not affect the centre of your vision initially.
Instead, it affects your peripheral vision first.
Many people don’t realise they have glaucoma according to the NHS, meaning it is often picked up during a routine eye test.
Symptoms that can occur later down the road may include blurred vision or seeing rainbow-coloured circles around bright lights.
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