Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench, who plays 'M' in the James Bond movies, revealed Saturday that she is battling to save her eyesight after being diagnosed with a degenerative disorder.

"I can't read scripts any more because of the trouble with my eyes," the 77-year-old told the Daily Mirror newspaper.

"And so somebody comes and reads them to me, like telling me a story. It's usually my daughter or my agent or a friend, and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in in mind.

"I've got what my ma had, macular degeneration, which you get when you get old.... The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can't see the person I'm having dinner with."

Dench, a veteran star of the stage and screen who returns as spy chief 'M' in the 23rd Bond film, "Skyfall", later this year, said she had received treatment and had no plans to retire.

"They had to do these injections and I think it's arrested it. I hope so," she said, adding that she plans to buy an e-book reader which would enable her to expand the size of words.

Dench, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 film "Shakespeare in Love", said she was "incredibly lucky" to do a job she loved, insisting: "As long as there is a possibility of working I'm not going to retire."

Macular degeneration affects a tiny part of the retina at the back of the eye, called the macula, causing problems with the sufferer's central vision.

It most commonly affects people over 50, and the age-related form of the condition is the western world's leading cause of sight loss.