Phillip Schofield health: ‘It drives me crazy’ – the star’s debilitating eye condition
The presenter, who also has a regular gig hosting Dancing on Ice with onscreen partner Holly Willoughby, rarely talks about his health. However, the star has secretly been suffering with a condition that is only curable with surgery. And this surgery is only available in the US. What is it the star suffers with?
Opening up to Dr Sara on This Morning, Schofield said that he deals with “deliberating eye floaters”.
In fact the star also spoke about his condition when starring on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show. He 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.”
Eye floaters, as The Mayo Clinic explains, are spots in your vision. They may look like grey or black specks, strings or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes.
Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump and can cast tiny shadows on your retina. The shadows you see are called floaters.
On This Morning Dr Sara explained further saying: “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.
“It can also cause the retina to detach slightly for the edges, and that’s what causes those shadows.”
Currently the only surgery available to treat them is in the USA. However Phillip hopes to be one of the first to undergo the treatment when and if it becomes available in the UK.
He continued to add: “Well, my retinas are not detaching, but I have debilitating eye floaters, and funnily enough, I had a person who is on the TV contact me the other day and said, ‘I heard you’ve got floaters, what do you do?’
“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, takes the floaters out, but you don’t get a cataract. I am hoping I might be the first person in the country to get this.
“My vision is like a filthy bathroom window drifting across my eyes, and it drives me crazy.”
Those over the age of 50 are more prone to get the condition. As well as this, other risk factors include already having experienced eye trauma, complications with cataract surgery and eye inflammation.
On the brighter side, some eye floaters disappear as the brain gets used to them and cancels them out. This can take anywhere from a month to six months, or in Phillip’s case perhaps not at all.
Similar to eye floaters, people can experience eye flashes. These are simply flashes of light in your vision.
If you notice that your vision is deteriorating then it is advised to seek medical advice straight away.
If symptoms persist it could be a sign of a more serious problem and if not treated it could permanently affect your vision.