In 2012, Oscar-nominated actress Judi Dench revealed that she should no longer read scripts. An eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has caused her eyesight to deteriorate. Dench said that she can no longer read, watch movies, and do many things that people with normal vision are able to perform.
In spite of it, Dench continues working in the movie industry. Just like spy chief character Dame M in the James Bond movies, Judi Dench is unshakeable in her resolve. She didn’t let her blindness define her life. In fact, in 2013, she starred in Philomena and got nominated for an Oscar for best actress. She also has two movies coming out in 2014. She said, “As long as there is a possibility of working, I’m not going to retire. I love what I do.”
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
AMD is an eye disease that causes the breakdown of the macula, the part of the eye that is responsible for central vision. It does not cause total blindness, as it doesn’t affect peripheral vision. Hence, a person with AMD may be able to see a person’s outline, but now their face. Their depth and color perception is also affected.
Fortunately for Judi Dench, her AMD was caught early. This is one of the reasons why Houston eye doctors strongly recommend getting periodic eye exams – at least every two years once you reach the age of 45. While there is no cure for AMD, laser eye surgery (photocoagulation) and medication can slow its progress.
Vision Tools for AMD Patients
How does Judi Dench do it? it is a question that many people, both with AMD and without, ask. Judi Dench revealed that she would have the scripts read to her so she could memorize her lines. To read, she uses magnifying glasses. “Very bright light helps,” she added. She’s also planning to buy an e-reader because it would allow her to enlarge fonts.
If you have been diagnosed with AMD, let Judi Dench’s story of achievement and success in spite of a reduced vision inspire you. Just like Judi, you can use visual tools to make the most use of your remaining eyesight.
- Telescopic glasses. These are very small telescopes, about half of an inch to three inches in length that are mounted inside the lenses of prescription glasses. Telescopic glasses will allow you to watch movies, ball games, read books, look at paintings, and much more.
- Magnifiers. You can use the traditional hand-held magnifying glass or have one fitted to your eyeglasses.
- Text-to-speech. Many computers today have speech output systems that are very helpful for people with low vision. You can also change the text display size of your computer so you can see better.
- E-readers and audio books. E-readers allow you to change font sizes of books, magazines, and newspapers easily, while audio books let you hear a story.
Dr. Amjad Khokhar, a LASIK specialist at Houston LASIK & Eye in Texas, says that healthy diet, exercise, and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses are essential to preventing AMD.
Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com.
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Houston LASIK & Eye. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.