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Dame Judi Dench opens up about her deteriorating eyesight

‘I can’t see on a film set anymore,’ actor said

Peony Hirwani
Monday 31 July 2023 08:54 BST
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Dame Judi Dench has opened up about having age-related macular degeneration (AMD), revealing that she can no longer “see on a film set anymore”.

AMD is an eye disease that can blur an individual’s central vision. According to the National Eye Institute, age-related macular degeneration “happens when aging causes damage to the macula – the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision.”

The disease does not cause total blindness, but it can make everyday activities difficult.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror magazine Notebook, the Belfast star spoke about the issues she’s been facing related to her eyesight.

“I can’t see on a film set anymore,” she said, adding: “And I can’t see to read. But you just deal with it.

“It’s difficult if I have any length of a part. I haven’t yet found a way. Because I have so many friends who will teach me the script. But I have a photographic memory.”

This isn’t the first time Judi Dench has spoken about her eyesight problems.

Earlier this year, during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, the Spirited star said “it has become impossible” for her to read scripts.

“Because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page,” she explained.

(PA Wire)

“I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them. I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”

In 2019, Dench said she had had to give up driving because of her eyesight, calling it “one of the most traumatic moments” of her life.

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“It was absolutely appalling,” she said at the time. “But I just know I’ll kill somebody if I get behind the wheel of a car now.”

During her 2019 interview with Radio Times, Dench also highlighted that she can no longer read the newspaper, books or do the crossword.

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