Phillip Schofield said farewell to his ITV colleague Fred Dineage
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Usually seen on This Morning beside Holly Willoughby, Phil has spoken publicly about his condition. When talking to Dr Sara about how to best keep your eyes healthy Phil revealed that he suffers from “debilitating eye floaters”. The star started to describe how much the condition has a dampening effect on his life, going so far as to say that he would want to be the first person in the UK to have surgery to remove them.
On the show, Dr Sara explained: “Floaters occur when you get small dots across your visual eyesight, and they tend to be more noticeable when you are looking at bright white walls or a piece of paper or even at the sky.
“They are not usually anything to worry about, and it occurs as we get older because the jelly-like substance in our eye becomes a bit more liquified as we get older, and that can cause clumps.
“For most people, nothing to worry about, your brain actually adjusts to them and you stop seeing them.”
However, for Phil the condition seems to be far worse than what Dr Sara describes. Speaking about it on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show Phil said: “I have floaters in my eyes, which drive me crazy.
“I don’t talk about them very much. I’ve talked about them more obviously because they’re mentioned in the book and loads of people have come to me and said ‘Oh, my god me too!’
“But this is not like the little bits that you see floating, this is like a filthy bathroom window drifting in front of my vision and we’re getting closer and closer to being able to find someone who can fix them.
“They drive me mad, but they’re not dangerous in any way. They just drive me mad. Especially if they hover over an autocue that I’m reading or something.”
The annoying condition has led to Phil doing extensive research into how he can rid himself of it, but sadly her the presenter the only surgery to exist is not available in the UK.
The operation – known as a half vitrectomy – involves “sucking out the jelly” of your eye. But currently, the operation has an extremely high risk of cataract within 12 months after the procedure.
Phil said: “I am at the cutting edge of all this, let me tell you, because the only way to treat them is a vitrectomy, where they suck the jelly out of your eye.
“Within 12 months you get a cataract, so they are trying to pioneer a half vitrectomy, which started in America – see I know a lot about this!
“You have half the vitrectomy, take the floaters out, but you don’t get a cataract.
“And I am hoping I might be the first person in the country to get this.”
In the worst case scenario, eye floaters can lead to an individual’s retina detaching slightly at the edges – which is what causes shadows.
If this occurs, it can become a medical emergency and if not treated can affect your sight in the long-term.
The NHS recommends seeking medical advice if you experience any of the following:
- Dots or lines (floaters) suddenly appear in your vision or suddenly increase in number
- You get flashes of light in your vision
- You have a dark “curtain” or shadow moving across your vision
- Your vision gets suddenly blurred.
The condition has affected Phil so badly that his mother was left in fear as that he might go blind.
He spoke about the emotional time when he sat his mother down to tell her that he was gay. Recalling the story Phil said: “So I went down there, my mum knows about these [eye floaters] and we had our fish and chips and I said mum I have something to tell you.
“I said ‘I’m gay.’ And she went ‘oh thank god’ and I looked at her and she said ‘I thought you were going blind’ and I said ‘what the hell do you mean? Why do you think I’m going blind?’
“She said, ‘those things you’ve got in your eyes and I know you’ve been very sad recently’ and I said ‘no mum, no. No I’m not going blind.”
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