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Celebrities With Eye & Vision Issues: Ptosis, Low Vision & More (Guide)

When we think of celebrities, most of us picture the glamorous lifestyle they lead. The parties, the red-carpet events, and all the fame that comes with it. As such, it’s hard to believe that these same people also struggle with some of the same problems that we do.

But it’s true. And some of those problems are eye and vision issues. Below, we’ve outlined some celebrities that have eye and vision problems. 

Celebrities With Myopia

Myopia is a refractive error that causes distant objects to be blurry. It is caused by the eye’s inability to focus light properly on the retina, which results in light rays falling short of their mark and forming a blurred image. 

People with this condition must wear corrective lenses like glasses or contacts to see clearly.

The following celebrities have myopia: 

Zendaya

Zendaya is currently one of the most famous people in the world. She has slowly built a reputation for herself, starring in films like Spider-Man: Homecoming and on TV shows like HBO’s Euphoria.

And while many people know her for her singing and acting, there is one thing you might have missed about her. She has trouble seeing far — so much so that she needed wireframe glasses to read her cue cards at the 2019 Emmys.

While she has worn glasses in the past, she doesn’t always use them and instead opts for contacts to correct her vision.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers in history. But before he started winning all those trophies, he was diagnosed with myopia at an early age. This condition is said to have prevented him from reaching his full potential in the sport.

But then in 1997 he had LASIK surgery and went on to win six back-to-back PGA competitions. Tiger claims that before surgery, he could have been considered legally blind.

The world of professional golf is not usually associated with myopia, but Tiger overcame this obstacle through LASIK surgery.

Celebrities With Drooping Eyes

Ptosis is a condition that causes the upper eyelid to droop. It can be congenital, or it can develop later in life. If you have ptosis, your eyelid hangs down, causing your eye to appear smaller than it really is.

Here are some famous faces who have suffered from ptosis:

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker is a famous actor. This highly decorated entertainer has a lot of experience in the film industry, and he has played many different roles. During his time, he has also been nominated for several awards. Most people know him from his role as Idi Amin in the film The Last King of Scotland

But what you may not know about him is that he was born with ptosis or drooping eyelids. This condition affects about every 1 in 842 births and can cause your eyes to look tired or sad. Ptosis can also make it harder to see clearly. It can lead to vision loss if left untreated.

According to Whitaker, he has contemplated corrective surgery, not because of concerns about his appearance but because the drooping eyelid sometimes obstructs his left eye’s field of vision.

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke is a British musician best known as the lead singer of the band Radiohead. He’s been nominated for a Grammy Award, and his work has been featured on the soundtracks of numerous films. 

Thom Yorke has had ptosis, or drooping eyelids, since he was around 7 years old.

When ptosis occurs later in life, it may be due to aging or other health conditions such as thyroid disease or diabetes. In Thom Yorke’s case, ptosis resulted from ocular surgery. Born with no eyelid movement in his left eye, he underwent five operations by the age of 6 to correct it.

Yorke has said that he was initially self-conscious about the drooping eyelid caused by his condition, but he has since come to accept it as part of his appearance.

Celebrities With Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to your optic nerve. Once this damage happens, you can lose your sight permanently. It’s important to manage glaucoma as early as possible, so any damage can be prevented or stopped before it gets too serious.

Glaucoma is usually associated with age, but it’s also common among people with diabetes or high blood pressure. 

These celebrities have dealt with glaucoma:

Fetty Wap

Fetty Wap is one of the most popular rappers in the world, with hits like “Trap Queen” and “My Way.” But he’s also a member of an exclusive club: celebrities who have been diagnosed with glaucoma.

Fetty was diagnosed with glaucoma at birth and had to have his right eye surgically removed. He says that while growing up, he was self-conscious about his condition but eventually came to accept it as part of his identity.

He says that when people see him without his prosthetic eye, they often ask him why it’s not there. Fetty says that this is a good opportunity to educate others about glaucoma and its effects on vision.

Whoopi Goldberg

Comedienne, actor, and host Whoopi Goldberg is one of several celebrities diagnosed with glaucoma, a chronic eye disease that can lead to blindness.

For Goldberg, who has spoken openly about her use of medical marijuana for glaucoma, the condition has been manageable through the use of vaporizers and other treatments.

Glaucoma can be treated with laser surgery or eye drops, but doctors don’t recommend using cannabis as an alternative treatment because there isn’t enough evidence to show that it works. Cannabis might only help relieve the symptoms.

Celebrities With Nystagmus

Nystagmus is a condition that causes your eyes to move involuntarily. It can be caused by several things, including brain injury or disease, but it’s also just a genetic trait. Nystagmus can greatly impact your vision, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating. 

This celebrity was diagnosed with nystagmus:

Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. (apl.de.ap)

Allan is a Filipino singer, performer, and band member of Black Eyed Peas who was born with nystagmus. For years he struggled with the condition but overcame it and became an international sensation after undergoing surgery. 

In his case, the condition caused his eyes to vibrate involuntarily. This, added to his nearsightedness, made the entertainer legally blind. That was until 2012 when he underwent surgery to correct both eye problems.

Celebrities With Cataracts

Cataracts are a common, age-related eye disorder that causes clouding of the lens. The most common symptom is the gradual loss of vision, although many people with cataracts can still see well enough to drive or lead an active lifestyle.

Here are just a few stars who had cataracts and got them removed:

John Goodman

John Goodman is one of the most talented actors of his generation, with a career highlighted by roles in The Flintstones, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? He’s also known for his role as Dan Conner on the long-running sitcom Roseanne.

But what many people don’t know about John Goodman is that he suffered from cataracts. According to People Magazine, he had surgery on his right eye in 2015 to treat the condition.

Soon after he recovered from his surgery, Goodman returned to acting and starred in the films Patriots Day and Transformers: The Last Knight.

Larry King

Larry King, the host of CNN’s Larry King Live and the most recognizable face on CNN for decades, had cataracts due to old age. 

He underwent surgery to treat them in 2009. Shortly after King’s cataract surgery, he began to wear an eye patch over his left eye as part of the recovery process. 

He was one of the first celebrities to discuss his surgery during a televised interview openly. The video showed an eye surgeon using a laser-assisted cataract procedure to demonstrate the newest advances in treatment.

Celebrities With Retinopathy

Retinopathy is a condition that causes the retina to become damaged. It can cause vision loss and blindness, and it’s often associated with diabetes.

Here are some celebrities who have been diagnosed with this condition:

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is one of the most famous musicians in the world and has been making incredible music since he was a child. He’s known for his ability to sing, play instruments, and write powerful and emotional songs.

Stevie also suffers from retinopathy, a disease affecting the eyes’ blood vessels. Retinopathy can cause blindness if left untreated, and it led to Wonder’s loss of sight.

Although Stevie has had many issues with his vision throughout his life, he continues to perform at sold-out shows worldwide.

Ella Fitzgerald 

Ella Fitzgerald was a celebrated performer and singer with a career spanning over 60 years. She was known for her unique voice and ability to sing any song she loved.

During her career, Fitzgerald developed retinopathy. Again, this condition causes the retina to deteriorate and can lead to blindness if not treated properly. 

Fitzgerald’s retinopathy began in her 50s and continued until she passed away at 76 years old. While this disease did not stop her from performing, it impacted how she saw the world around her.

Celebrities With Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can lead to vision loss and is often hereditary, but it can also be caused by other factors like aging and exposure to sunlight.

Here are celebrities who have had macular degeneration:

Dame Judith Dench

Dame Judith Dench is one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved actresses. She has been nominated for an Oscar nine times and won two of them. Her career spans five decades, and she’s starred in over 50 films.

Dame Judi Dench was diagnosed with macular degeneration in 2012. Macular degeneration is a disease that affects the center of the retina and can lead to blindness.

Despite her advanced macular degeneration, Dame Judi Dench has said that she is “not going to hang up [her] boots” as an actress. In fact, she has said that she will continue acting as long as she can read scripts and memorize lines.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. She was born in 1887 and died in 1986 when she was 95. She had macular degeneration, which affected her vision.

Georgia O’Keeffe will be remembered as an artist who painted images of flowers, landscapes, and animals, often using bright colors like reds and oranges to create bolder images that stood out against the backdrop of nature. 

O’Keeffe began suffering from macular degeneration in her early 70s, which is a fairly late onset for this disease. It is possible that her condition could have been caused by cataracts or glaucoma, as well as other eye conditions.

The disease left her unable to paint without assistance, so she stopped oil painting in 1972 and began working with charcoal and pencils instead.

Celebrities With Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which someone has insufficient tears to lubricate the eyes. The lack of tears can cause various symptoms, such as burning, irritation, blurry vision, and even redness.

The condition affects millions of people, including celebrities. Here are two celebrities that suffer from dry eye syndrome:

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is one of the most iconic celebrities in the world, and she’s been a fixture on the Hollywood scene since the mid-1990s. Despite her glamorous image, Jennifer has struggled with dry eye syndrome for years.

Aniston says that she’s tried every kind of solution available — from eye drops to prescription medications — but nothing has worked for her long term. She once used eye drops two to three times per hour, but it only helped temporarily.

Jennifer has also spoken publicly about her struggles with dry eyes and how she copes with them. She hopes that by speaking out about her experiences with dry eye syndrome, other people will be able to get help sooner than she did.

Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his roles in the films The Hangover, Role Models, and The Hangover Part II. When he was diagnosed with dry eye syndrome, Jeong became an advocate for the condition.

Since then, he has joined forces with the pharmaceutical company Novartis, whose eye drops successfully treated his symptoms. Together, they are spreading the message that help is available for people with dry eyes.

Celebrities With strabismus

Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes are misaligned. It can be treated. 

Here are some famous people who have strabismus:

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell, an actress who is best known for her roles in Veronica Mars and Frozen, is one of many celebrities with strabismus, a condition in which one eye turns inward or outward.

Bell says hers is most obvious when she’s tired and that you can sometimes see her right eye drift on screen. To manage the condition under stressful situations, she has developed a code word for late-night shoots and gets her cameraman to call it out when her right eye starts acting up.

The condition isn’t something most people would know about just by looking at Bell, but she hopes that sharing her story will help others who might feel self-conscious about their appearance or health issues.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling has strabismus. He was born with this condition.

Gosling’s condition may have affected his ability to see properly. This can make it difficult for someone to focus on one thing for a long time, which can be a problem for driving or reading.

But it does not seem to have affected Gosling’s acting career. The actor has appeared in several films nominated for Oscars, including La La Land and Blade Runner 2049.

Celebrities With Blurry Vision

Blurry vision is the number one reason why people visit the eye doctor. It can be scary, but it’s usually not a big deal, and there are things you can do to make it better.

Here are a few celebrities who’ve had a blurry vision:

Franklin Roosevelt 

Franklin Roosevelt was a man with a vision, but he couldn’t always see it clearly.

The President of the United States from 1933 until 1945, Roosevelt was known as a leader who made tough decisions, and he did it all while suffering from poor vision.

He was diagnosed with cataracts at age 39 and underwent surgery to remove them in both eyes. He wore glasses for most of his adult life, even during his presidency.

Despite issues with vision, he led the nation through the Great Depression and World War II, and he helped create programs like Social Security that are still in use today.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is one of the most famous people in the world, but she has a secret that she’s only recently been able to share: She’s been battling poor vision from a very early age.

Her condition led her to wear glasses for most of her life. Swift made them an essential part of her signature look and frequently wore them in public.

Taylor eventually got LASIK corrective eye surgery in 2019 after years of trying different solutions (including contacts) to improve her vision.

References

  1. Nearsightedness: What Is Myopia? (September 2022). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  2. What Is Ptosis? (September 2019). Nemours Children’s Health.

  3. Incidence and Demographics of Childhood Ptosis.) (April 2011). HHS Public Access.

  4. Eye Surgery. American Society of Anesthesiologists.

  5. At a Glance: Glaucoma. (April 2022). National Eye Institute.

  6. What Is Nystagmus? (January 2022). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  7. At a Glance Cataracts. (August 2022). National Eye Institute.

  8. What’s New in Dry Eye Disease Diagnosis? Current Advances and Challenges. (December 2018). F1000 Research.

  9. What Is Adult Strabismus? (September 2022). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  10. Understanding, Detecting, and Managing Strabismus. (March 2010). Community Eye Health Journal.

  11. Dry Eye Disease: Prevalence, Assessment, and Management. (March–April 2018). Home Healthcare Now.

Last Updated December 20, 2022

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