‘Traumatic’ facts of her ten-year health fight are revealed by Judi Dench

Dame Judi was diagnosed with an eye disease in 2012, and now her vision is failing.

Dame Judi Dench makes an appearance in Who Do You Think You Are on Tuesday. While the actress seems as positive as ever, she is losing her vision due to age-related macular degeneration, a degenerative eye ailment.

The actress was candid about her health during a Louis Theroux Interviews episode in November 2022. The 88-year-old actor responded, “Bad,” when Louis enquired about the severity of her health. Quite bad. It’s bad enough that you’re so hazy. Just a little bit fuzzy.

The interviewer questioned Dame Judi if her poor vision had caused her to want to stop working, and she said, “I don’t want to retire. Due to my blindness, I am not accomplishing much right now.”

Judi’s response to how she memorized her lines without seeing them was, “I’ve needed to educate myself on a new way of learning. I’ve realized that I must know its location on the page. I’ll teach myself how to do it. As long as I don’t slip up while doing it, I’m sure I will.”

Judi explained to the Radio Times in 2021 that her eyesight also negatively affected her personal life: “I can’t read the paper now, I can’t do the crossword, I can’t read a book.”

She continued by saying that she was compelled to give up driving in 2017.

She started by saying, “A couple of years ago, I stopped driving,” and went on to describe it as one of the most “traumatic” and “appalling” experiences of her life. “But if I get behind the wheel of a car right now, I simply know I’ll kill someone,” she said.

Dame Judi further disclosed that her mother has a related disease and expresses concern for her daughter Finty because it is genetic. Judi noted that to assess Finty’s vision, she makes sure she undergoes routine eye exams.

The thought of losing her sight is too terrifying for Judi. She refused to answer when asked when she believed she might completely lose her vision. “I have an adequate vision. You become used to it. So I disregard it.”

It’s undoubtedly difficult to accept, but renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Nish says some steps can be taken to halt the progression. She tells that research indicates that taking nutritional supplements like vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper may be beneficial. Additionally, lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, exercising, watching what you eat, and protecting your eyes from UV radiation may help.

“Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that affects one’s central vision, where their sharpest vision occurs, causing vision loss,” adds Dr. Nish. “This is one of the main reasons why people go blind worldwide. AMD comes in both Dry and Wet types. The wet form involves aberrant blood vessel growth and fluid buildup, whereas the dry form entails an accumulation of drusen (i.e., waste of the eye) in one’s macula.

Dr. Nish informs us that macular degeneration is regrettably regarded as an incurable eye condition. Studies indicate that taking dietary supplements, including vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper, may reduce the process. Additionally, making lifestyle adjustments like quitting smoking, exercising, eating healthier, and protecting your eyes from UV radiation may help. Anti-VEGF therapies help minimize aberrant blood vessels, bleeding, and edema in Wet AMD, but they cannot reverse any prior vision loss.






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