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Dame Judi Dench: Vision problems, yes; going blind, not so much

February 20, 2012 |  4:19 pm

Dame Judi Dench says she's not going blind

Dame Judi Dench is suffering from age-related macular degeneration, yes, and it has affected her vision significantly, she said recently, but she also clarified Monday that no, she's not going blind.

Dench, 77, revealed her condition Saturday to the Daily Mirror.

"I can’t read scripts anymore because of the trouble with my eyes. And so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story," she told the Mirror. "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."

It's a condition her mother had before her, she said, and she has lenses and glasses to help — those things plus good old bright light.

"I do not wish for this to be overblown ..." Dench said Monday in a statement sent to Reuters. "It's something that I have learnt to cope with and adapt to — and it will not lead to blindness."

To the Mirror, the James Bond-franchise actress and Oscar winner described a particularly irritating facet of the condition, however. "The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can’t see the person I’m having dinner with," she said, after explaining to the interviewer that while she could see his outline, his face remained a mystery.

The National Institutes of Health, in its explanation of age-related macular degeneration as a disease that over time destroys sharp, clear central vision, includes pictures of how normal vision compares to the vision of someone with AMD.


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— Christie D'Zurilla
Christie D'Zurilla on Google+

Photo: Judi Dench in July 2011. Credit: Michal Cizek / AFP / Getty Images.