Judi Dench has said that she suffers from a potentially serious condition with her eyesight, that prevents her reading scripts.
The actress told the Daily Mirror that she has been diagnosed with macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.
The 77-year-old has had treatment and is vowing not to be beaten by the condition, also saying she has no plans to retire.
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.
Dench 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.”
Dench 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.