“This condition is something that thousands and thousands of people all over the world are having to contend with.” she told Britain’s Daily Mirror.
“I can’t read scripts any more because of the trouble with my eyes,” she said. “And so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story.
“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.”
Dench has wet macular degeneration in one eye, and the dry form in the other. She says she receives injections, which are used by ophthalmologists to treat the wet form of ARMD.
The macula – a small area in the centre of the retina – is vital for reading. Although neither wet nor dry macular degeneration is curable, injections and laser therapy can slow the progress of wet macular degeneration. At present, there is no form of treatment for dry macular degeneration, although some retinal doctors prescribe high doses of vitamins and minerals.
Macular degeneration can be genetic – Dench’s mother lived with the condition. However, as ARMD is the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age of 60, regular eye tests are vital for everyone. Lifestyle factors such as eating leafy greens, oily fish and not smoking may slow both forms.
As for Dame Judi, she has no plans to stop working. In fact, the sooner macular degeneration is diagnosed, the better the chances are that a person can seek appropriate treatments and, albeit with some minor changes to their lives, continue as per normal
Just like a Dame.