Judi Dench, 89, Might Retire From Acting Amid Health Battle

Judi Dench, 89, Might Retire From Acting Amid Health Battle

Judi Dench is a Hollywood icon, but the 89-year-old recently revealed that she may be done acting.

This week at London's Chelsea Flower Show, Judi was asked if she had any movies coming up. Her response? “No, no. I can’t even see!” she said, according to Deadline.

In 2012, Judi was diagnosed with macular degeneration, which has interfered with her vision over the years.

“You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult,” she told audiences during a Vision Foundation talk in 2021, per People. “I've had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again.”

"I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won't notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless," she added.

But Judi said it’s "difficult" to memorize the lines if she has longer parts. “You just deal with it," she told The Mirror in 2023. "I have so many friends who will teach me the script. I have a photographic memory.”

Judi isn't happy about her "ghastly" condition, adding that it's "terrible to be so dependent on people." But she has no plans to retire anytime soon, saying she wants to "work as much as I can."

After all this, it's understandable to have questions about macular degeneration and Judi Dench's health. Here’s what you need to know.

What is causing Judi Dench's blindness?

Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that can blur your central vision, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI), and is the leading cause of vision loss for older adults. While it doesn’t cause complete blindness, it can make it harder to see faces, read, drive, cook, or fix things around your house, the NEI says.

The condition doesn’t cause any early symptoms, but as it progresses, it can cause mild blurriness or trouble seeing in low lighting. In the latest phase, many people may notice that straight lines look wavy or crooked, and they may notice a blurry area near the center of their vision, the NEI says.

Why does macular degeneration happen?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), people are more likely to develop macular degeneration if they:

  • Eat a diet high in saturated foods

  • Are overweight or obese

  • Smoke cigarettes

  • Are over 50 years old

  • Have high blood pressure

  • Or have a family history of macular degeneration

How is macular degeneration treated?

There is no cure for macular degeneration, but it can be treated with certain medications or surgery, according to the AAO.

Eye-healthy foods like dark leafy greens, yellow fruits and vegetables, and fish have also been shown to be beneficial for people with age-related macular degeneration, the organization says.

Is Judi Dench still performing?

As of now, Judi doesn't have any movies coming down the pipeline. But who knows what this Hollywood legend has in store.

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