The Albert Square stalwart has scaled back her social activities as she has problems recognising her friends.
“I’ve got very poor sight. I’ve got extra lenses inside my eyes to try to help me read better. They help with peripheral vision, but I’ve got no central vision. I can’t go out socially. I never go to soap awards now. I don’t recognise people I know and they would think that I was snubbing them,” June told The Mirror.
The 92-year-old actress has suffered from age-related macular degeneration for 10 years. She had surgery on her eyes in 2017, but her sight remains in decline.
The national eye institution explains that the disease ’causes damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision’, it commonly presents as a blurred area near the center of vision which gets bigger over time.
June – who has played Dot Branning in the BBC soap since 1985 – went on to reveal that while she can use devices such as Amazon Alexa to keep up to date with current affairs, she has no such substitute for responding to fan letters.
“I have got loads of fan letters that I haven’t been able to read or reply to since it all started. I don’t like to just send cards and sign them, I have all different sorts I like to chose from personally. So if someone mentioned Ethel, Gretchen Franklin, I’d send them one with a picture of Dot and Ethel. I used to be meticulous about that but now I’ve got nobody, really, to help me do it.”