Bono in sunglasses bid to save sight of 5m people

U2’s Bono wants to help prevent vision impairment and blindness in more than 5m people.

In October last year, the U2 frontman shed light on why he wears sunglasses all the time, even indoors — he has suffered glaucoma for more than 20 years.

Bono told Graham Norton on his BBC chatshow that his trademark tinted sunglasses are not the sign of an aloof rock star. Instead, he wears them to protect his eyes from the eye condition, which can result in optic nerve damage.

An estimated 625m people are unnecessarily blind or vision-impaired.

According to the global organisation Brien Holden Vision Institute, almost 75% of all vision impairments, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, unoperated cataract, and glaucoma can be prevented or cured with access to preventative eyecare and treatment, including prescription glasses.

Bono, who has a long track record in global health campaigning, particularly in the fight against HIV/Aids, is determined to find a way to increase access to frontline eye services for others.

He has now become involved in an initiative, dubbed, Buy Vision, Give Sight, which will drive $10m to the fight to improve access to eye screening, prescription glasses, and eye health care in under-resourced communities.

The 55-year-old Dubliner has teamed up with Revo Eyewear and the non-profit Brien Holden Vision Institute in ads and campaign materials supporting the initiative.

“This campaign is a personal one for me,” said Bono. “Thanks to good medical care my eyes are okay, but tens of millions of people around the world with sight problems don’t have access to glasses, or even an eye test.”

For every purchase of a new pair of Revo sunglasses, €10 from the sale of every pair, up to a total of €10m, will be donated by Revo to the ‘Buy Vision, Give Sight’ initiative.

Funds donated by the eyecare company to the Brien Holden Vision Institute will help pay for basic eyecare services, such as eye tests and prescription glasses, and to build stronger eyecare services in target communities.

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