18/02/2012 04:14 GMT | Updated 18/02/2012 13:18 GMT

Judi Dench May Lose Her Sight After Being Diagnosed With Macular Degeneration

Dame Judi Dench has revealed she has been diagnosed with a condition that can lead to blindness.

The James Bond star, 77, says she has macular degeneration and can no longer read her scripts or see faces in front of her.

But she told the Daily Mirror she hoped recent treatment had stopped the progressive decline.

She told the newspaper: "I can't read scripts any more before because of the trouble with my eyes.

"And so somebody comes and reads them to me, like telling me a story."

Macular degeneration most commonly affects people over 50, when it is referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

AMD is the leading cause of sight loss in the western world and is the reason behind more than half of registrations for blind and partially sighted people in the UK.

It is either "dry" or "wet" and affects the macula at the back of the eye, impairing central sight.

Dame Judi said: "I've got what my ma had, macular degeneration, which you get when you get old.

"I had wet in one eye and dry in the other and they had to do these injections and I think it's arrested it. I hope so."

The actress said the most distressing aspect of the condition was not being able to see the person she was having dinner with in a restaurant.

But she vowed not to be beaten by it, adding: "You get used to it. I've got lenses and glasses and things and very bright light helps."

Dame Judi, who said she has no plans to retire, made her her name on stage and in television.

Her film career took off when she played Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown in 1997 and she later won a best supporting actress Oscar in 1998 for her role as Queen Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love.

She is returning to the role of M in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, alongside Daniel Craig.