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Dame Judi Dench is one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation. She’s starred in everything from James Bond films to classic period dramas like Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre and isn’t showing any signs of leaving the big screen any time soon. But, proving that celebrities are in fact just like the rest of us, she’s revealed in recent years that she’s been suffering with a debilitating health condition.
84-year-old Judi shared that she struggles with age-related macular degeneration, which can cause blurred, little, or even no vision in the centre of the eye.
Speaking to the Radio Times, the Victoria & Abdul star explained that there are an array of things she can no longer do, due to not being able to see as well as she used to. Judi explained “I can’t read the paper now, I can’t do the crossword, I can’t read a book,”
But the actress went on to reveal that one of the most traumatic moments of the condition was when it forced her to give up driving a few years ago.
However, Judi said that it was a decision she had to make, in order to ensure the safety of herself and others.
She said, “A couple of years ago, I stopped driving, which was one of the most traumatic moments of my life. It was absolutely appalling. But I just know I’ll kill somebody if I get behind the wheel of a car now.”
In the interview, Judi Dench confessed that she isn’t sure what the prognosis of her age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is, and that she’d rather not know or ask, as there is no current cure.
“There’s nothing you can do. You adapt to it. So I ignore it altogether.”
According to The Lancet Global Health, age-related macular degeneration accounts for 8.7% of all blindness worldwide, and most types of the condition are not treatable.
It’s becoming increasingly important to look after our eyes and get seek the appropriate treatment where we can.