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Bono Wears Glasses Because He Has Glaucoma (VIDEO)

10/17/2014 07:23 EDT | Updated 10/17/2014 07:59 EDT

OK, Bono-bashers, it's time for you all to feel very badly now.

The lead singer of U2 admitted on BBC One's The Graham Norton Show Friday that he wears his trademark sunglasses because he has had glaucoma for the past two decades.

From the interview:

Norton: "The sunglasses, you didn’t wear gunglasses, when you found them you were like, I love sunglasses. Do you ever take them off?"

Bono: (pause) "You know the big 'ahh' I got earlier, you know when I did the whole thing, OK, this is a good place to explain to people …"

Norton: "Is something terrible wrong with you? Is it fatal?"

Bono: "A lot of people, it might make a lot of people happy. No, I have glaucoma for the last 20 years."

Bono, a guest on the show alongside actors Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall and Stephen Fry, explained that though he has 20/20 vision, he learned of his condition after seeing strange visions, such as steam coming into rooms and rings around lights.

Downey Jr. defended the singer's shades, saying, "I just think they're cool."

While Bono joked about the sunglasses throughout the interview, his disease is nevertheless a serious one. Glaucoma damages the eye's optic nerve responsible for sending images to the brain. It can also lead to complete blindness, cites WebMD.

The progressive disease is often inherited and is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., according to the Mayo Clinic. People over 40 are encouraged to see an eye doctor every one or two years.

So, maybe people have been a little hard on Bono, mocking his sunglasses.

After all, the guy did give us a free album on iTunes, whether we wanted it or not.

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