Being a passenger could be one of Lady Judi Dench's most challenging roles.
The acclaimed actress was recently openly questioned about her health in a RadioTimes interview, revealing that she can no longer drive due to her deteriorating eyesight due to macular degeneration.
"A few years ago, I stopped driving, which was one of the most traumatic moments of my life," said Dench, 84, who will make a brief appearance in the next "James Bond" movie. "It was absolutely horrible. But all I know is that I'm going to kill someone if I take the wheel of a car now.
Dench, a seven-time candidate who won an Oscar for the role of Queen Elizabeth I in "Shakespeare in Love" in 1
"Your eye is a camera, and we have a lens [behind the pupil] and the film is the retina [which is light-sensitive and focuses images]," Dr. Avnish Deobhakta, a retinal surgeon at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Market Observation. In more advanced cases, such as Dench's, these lesions appear below the midsection of the retina, causing visual disturbances such as reading, recognizing faces, and vision to pass the eye exam for a driver's license.
Symptoms may be: blurred or blurred vision; See what straight lines should be – like the edge of a door or sentences on one side – as crooked or wavy; Viewing some objects as smaller than they really are; and the appearance of a gray, dark, or empty area in the center of the field of view.
Dench is one of 196 million people worldwide who are expected to live with AMD by 2020. This is the third leading cause of vision loss after cataracts and glaucoma. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, more than 10 million Americans are currently affected by AMD. AMD most commonly occurs in adults over the age of 55, especially women (as they are more likely to live longer than men) and Caucasians. People with a genetic history of AMD are also more susceptible to developing the disease, and smoking can also double the risk.
There are treatments for AMD, eg. For example, wearing glasses that allow you to see other parts of your retina, as well as eye injections to slow the progression of AMD and maintain vision. Nutritional therapies such as a diet high in antioxidants to support the cells in the eye can also be helpful.
"Myth 1 on macular degeneration is the fear of blindness, and even in the most severe cases of macular degeneration, your field of vision does not go completely black," Dr. Deobhakta said. "(But) you need to have at least 20/40 eyesight to drive, and the problem with this disease is that both eyes are affected. So many patients eventually have to give up things like driving a car. "
In fact, Dench did not stop until 2017, about five years after she revealed her diagnosis," I can not read the paper right now, I can not solve the crossword puzzle, I can not read a book, "Dench said in her last interview. "(But) I can see enough."
Research has shown that older adults with AMD have more difficulty in driving than older adults without AMD, and as many as Dench regulate their own driving to be on the safe side In other words, they adapt to when they are driving (eg when they are not driving at night, which can be difficult with limited central vision), under what circumstances they drive and how often they take the steering wheel A 2013 study found that older middle AMD drivers had significantly lower car accident risk than people with normal vision driving  Related to : 5 characters that your parents need to stop driving.
However, it can be difficult for people to identify their own potential disabilities before they take to the wheel – including chronic health conditions that could lead to it. It's time to hand over their driver's license to stick to taxis and stock how to drive Lyft
Driving is an important part of maintaining independence and competence, which is why 82% of riders between the ages of 55 and 101 stated that driving on was "very or not." However, most of these drivers also agreed that they would consider handing over the keys if they had a medical condition or if a doctor advised them to stop driving, according to the National Security Council seriously injured. Every seven seconds someone is injured in a car accident. A 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study estimated that auto accidents cost the economy $ 871 billion a year.
The AARP has created the following list of unsafe driving alert signals to look for you or someone else. This could mean it's time to stop:
- Delayed reaction to unexpected situations
- Being easily distractible while driving
- Declining self-confidence while driving
- Difficulty entering or maintaining the correct lane
- Hit on curbs if you turn right or drive backwards
- Create scratches or dings on car, garage or mailbox
- Frequent calls nearby
- Driving too fast or too slow for road conditions
AAA also has Some common warning signs indicate that it is time to stop driving, including:
- Confusion between the accelerator and brake pedals or difficulty in operating (which could be a sign of a decrease in leg strength)
- Seems To ignore or miss traffic signals, especially stop signs
- No signal at m lane change or no inspection of mirrors and blind spots
- Any kind of cognitive decline that may result in loss or disorientation
If you are concerned about the ability of a spouse, parent, relative or friend to Driving, but you do not know how to start this difficult conversation. AARP has also created a free online seminar with insurance company The Hartford and MIT AgeLab to guide you through the difficult conversation.
Conclusion: If you are worried about your health or your driving skills, consult a doctor – not just for reassurance, but also for treatments that you can hopefully put back on the road. The sooner you notice any vision problems, the better.
"If you notice anything unusual about your vision, it does not mean that you definitely have a macular degeneration, it could be something else that can be resolved, so if you have any concerns about it, contact an ophthalmologist Your ability to drive, "said Dr. Deobhakta.