Even VIPs have eye conditions. Here’s an interesting collection of ten notables who have serious vision conditions, and who have made a success of their lives nonetheless!
1. Steve Wynn: Las Vegas casino developer and the owner of such resorts as the Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, Bellagio, The Mirage, et cetera. Wynn has developed retinitis pigmentosa which includes progressive degeneration of the photoreceptor cells of the retina. Such degeneration results in poor night vision, light to dark adaption and impaired peripheral vision. Mr. Wynn recently partnered with the University of Iowa to establish the Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research. He donated $25 million to help the university find a cure for blinding eye diseases.
2. Jon Wellner: American actor with the recurring role as toxicologist Henry Andrews in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Wellner also has retinitis pigmentosa which has not yet impacted his work. He does however wear glasses. Not only does he continue to act but he also owns his own research company that does research for CSI: Miami, Bones, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and others.
3. Apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda): Rapper in the group The Black Eyed Peas. Apl.de.ap experiences nystagmus, a condition in which the eyes ‘dance’ involuntarily due to irregular stimulation of the inner ear. This involuntary eye movement limits vision. He has undergone eye surgery to implant artificial lenses to correct the condition.
4. Richard H. Bernstein: American lawyer, advocate, and athlete. He has retinitis pigmentosa and has been legally blind since birth. Even so; he is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan and is an accomplished lawyer. He was also on the Board of Directors for Wayne State University for eight years.
5. Dame Judy Dench: Multiple-award winning British actress in television, film, and stage. She suffers from both forms of macular degeneration: dry macular degeneration in one eye, and wet macular degeneration (also known as choroidal neovascularization) in the other. Her condition is treated with injections in the eye. However, she requires her scripts be read to her. Note: Those with retinal eye conditions can often benefit from targeted supplementation in terms of helping preserve vision.
6. Johnny Depp: American actor famous for his Pirates of the Caribbean role. Depp is nearsighted in his right eye and almost blind in the left eye. He wears signature prescription glasses that many people believe are merely cosmetic.
7. Christine Ha: American chef, author, and winner of the third season of the television series MasterChef in 2012. She has neuromyelitis optica and is legally blind. Neuromyelitis optica is a form of optic neuritis, an eye condition in which a person’s immune system attacks the optic nerves and spinal cord. She was diagnosed with the disease in 2004 and her vision has deteriorated over the years. By 2007 she was almost 100% blind.
8. David Paterson: Politician, the 55th Governor of New York, and radio talk show host. As a result of an ear infection at the age of three months old he is blind in his left eye and has very limited vision in his right eye.
9. Diane Schuur (Deedles): American jazz singer, two-time Grammy Award winner and pianist. She suffers from retinopathy due to premature birth which resulted in her being blind from birth. For some premature babies the fine capillaries overgrow abnormally damaging the retina.
10. Sue Townsend: British playwright, novelist, and author of the Adrian Mole books. She has been legally blind since 2001 as a result of diabetic retinopathy, a condition which diabetics are 60% more likely to develop than others. Nonetheless, she still continues to write and even incorporates her visual disability into some of her themes.