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Dame Judi Dench has revealed she can no longer read scripts after being diagnosed with a condition that can lead to blindness.
The actress has revealed she is suffering from macular degeneration, a disease of the retina that causes a progressive loss of eyesight, and said she can no longer see faces in front of her.
She said that her eyesight has become so bad that she now relies on friends to read scripts to her.
However, she said she hoped recent treatment had stopped the progressive decline.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Mirror, she said: "I can't read scripts any more before because of the trouble with my eyes and so somebody comes and reads them to me, like telling me a story."
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is results in loss of the centre of the visual field due to damage to a part of the retina called the macular, most commonly affects people over 50 and affects almost 240,000 people in the UK.
It is the leading cause of sight loss in the western world and is the reason behind more than half of registrations for blind and partially sighted people in the UK.
Macular degeneration can take two forms – either "dry", the most common kind which affects the eyes gradually, or "wet", which comes on quickly.
Dame Judi, 77, said: "I've got what my ma had, macular degeneration, which you get when you get old. I had wet in one eye and dry in the other and they had to do these injections and I think it's arrested it. I hope so."
The actress said the most distressing aspect of the condition was not being able to see the person she was having dinner with in a restaurant.
She said: "What I miss are people corpsing on stage. I know there might be something going on, but sometimes I can't see it and that infuriates me as I think I'm missing out on something."
But she said she was determined not to let the condition beat her.
She added: "You get used to it. I've got lenses and glasses and things and very bright light helps. I can do a crossword if it's bright sunshine, but if a cloud comes out the next minute I can't see anything."
Dame Judi, who said she has no plans to retire, made her name on stage and in television.
Her film career took off when she played Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown in 1997 and she later won a best supporting actress Oscar in 1998 for her role as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love.
She is returning to the role of M in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, alongside Daniel Craig, and currently appears in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is released on February 24.
Dame Judi said: "I'm very conscious that I'm in the minority in that I love what I do. How big is the number of people who are running to work to do a job that they like?"
LONDON (AP) — Actress Judi Dench is battling to save her sight.
The James Bond star said in an interview published Saturday that she had been diagnosed with macular degeneration, an eye condition which can cause blindness, and that her eyesight was already so bad that she couldn't even read her own scripts.
The 77-year-old told the Daily Mirror that she was relying on friends and family to keep her up to speed with her lines.
"It's usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind," she told the newspaper during an interview at a London hotel. "The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can't see the person I'm having dinner with."
The Mirror didn't say exactly where or when the interview took place. Messages left for Dench's agent were not immediately returned Saturday.
Dench made her Shakespearean debut in 1957 at London's Old Vic and has since taken on a vast number of theater, film and television roles.
She won an Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in "Shakespeare in Love" and is best known to international audiences as intelligence boss M in the James Bond series.
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strach • New York, New York • 4 minutes 57 seconds agoRemove
Not to worry their is a treatment , from a small stem cell company called advanced cell tech...which claims to have a cure for amd....as a matter of fact, they already tested 2 people with amd using the minimum amount of cells to regenerate the retina, and the 2 people already reported better eyesight..more tests are coming out with more patients, hold on the treatment is just around the corner,, in a few years she may have her sight all fixed up..lets alll hope...
Watched the National News Tonight. Had a trailer about Judy Dench and "new science" for treatment of MD. I was sooooo excited, sure they were going to talk about stem cells and wondering if they would mention ACTC by name. NOPE, the story was of a "binocular" type device implanted in the eye restoring vision, no mention of stem cells (boo!). Elsevier