Visit us at our new location @ 214 South City Parkway, Suite 101 Get Directions

Joseph & Swan Eye CenterJoseph & Swan Eye Center

20 Famous Celebrities With Eye Conditions



20 Famous Celebrities With Eye Conditions


1. Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis told Cosmopolitan in an interview "I was blind in one eye for many years, and nobody knew,"  The actress had a cataract in one eye caused by iritis, potentially severe inflammation that occurs in the front part of the eye including the iris, the colored part of the eye. She was able to successful restore her vision by a cataract surgery.

2. Claude Monet

The famous artist known for his scenic oil paintings had cataracts for many years. A cataract is a natural aging change of the eyes, which causes the lens to grow and leave a yellow/brown color as it worsens.  Blurry vision and seeing colors that are dull or with a yellow-tint  are symptoms of cataracts Which some believe impacted his art. He eventually had a successful cataract surgery.

3. Ray Charles

Untreated glaucoma stole musician Ray Charles' sight as a child. In an interview, he told New Musical Express that he didn't see blindness as a drawback at all. He learned piano using the Braille system and became one of the most famous blues musicians in the world.

4. Ella Fitzgerald

Known as the First Lady of Song, this award-winning jazz singer suffered from advanced diabetes. The disease came with many health complications for Fitzgerald, which can lead to loss of vision. Diabetic retinopathy happens when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina and can lead to bleeding and swelling inside the eyes.

5. President Abraham Lincoln

The 16th president of the United States had strabismus, a condition where the eyes are not aligned and may be turned inward or outward. Malaligned eyes can lead to permanent poor vision development in children . In Lincoln's case, his left eye was naturally higher than his right and rolled upward when he was tired or excited. People said during a a passionate 1860 presidential debate his eyes were said to "roll wildly". 

6. Bono

The lead singer of U2 was shocked to be diagnosed with glaucoma during a eye exam after he though he had vision was fine. The treatments Bono did help him maintain his sight. Bono's experience serves as a reminder that glaucoma doesn't necessarily  mean you lose your vision. By making sure you go to regular eye exams are important for early diagnosis and continuing treatment as instructed by an ophthalmologist is the best way to preserve vision.

7. Stephen King

The well-known horror writer was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The disease startsin a part of the retina called the macula, which causes the loss of central vision. Smoking, age, UV light exposure and genetics are all risk factors. 

8. Sugar Ray Leonard

Professional boxer Sugar Ray Leonard partially detached retina was repaired by eye surgery. The retina was detached after being hit in a boxing match. Leonard returned to make comeback and continue his boxing career after the surgery.

9. Stephen Curry

Professional basketball player Stephen Curry was diagnosed with keratoconus, a condition where the clear cover of the eye or cornea, becomes thinned and cone shaped over time. It is progressive through teenage years and early adult hood. Luckily,  he corneal crosslinked which is a procedure strengthened his corneas. He has helped improve his vision with the help of specialized contact lenses The athlete told The Athlete  that although squinting on the basketball court was beginning to feel normal, corrected vision improved his game.

10. Missy Elliott


Hip-hop musician Missy Elliott was diagnosed with Grave's disease. Grave's disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease which sometimes causes the eyes to become more prominent and bulge, and in severe forms can even cause vision loss. Missy Elliot told People magazine that she had experienced this eye-related symptom, but has seen significant improvement thanks to regular eye exams, medical assistance and a healthy lifestyle. 


11. Kristen Bell

Actress Kristen Bell was diagnosed with strabismus and swears you can see her right eye drift on film sometimes In an interview on The Late Late Show, she explained how the camera crew often yells out "Wonky," a code word to let her know her right eye is beginning to drift. Bell says when she is tired that the strabismus is most noticeable.

12. Jose Feliciano

Known for the Christmas classic, "Feliz Navidad," musician Jose Feliciano lost his sight as a at young age due to untreated glaucoma. Feliciano, who began playing guitar at age nine, says he is grateful for "being born with vision," even without his eyesight he said in an interview with Hawaii Public Radio."Vision is also what you feel inside and that's what makes a great visionary."

13. Dame Judi Dench

Diagnosed with dry AMD in one eye and wet AMD in the other, Dench still perseveres with her award-winning acting career. She uses many low vision tools and techniques to help maintain independence, such as a mobile app made for people with AMD to read the news. Dench told the Sunday Post, "I just want to go on being mobile, really, and being able to do things. I'm not going to be beaten by my eyes." 

14. Venus Williams

The famous tennis player has Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the body's moisture-producing glands. Severe dry eye which can cause eye pain, blurry vision, and even lead to infections whats caused by the disease. Now Williams to ease her eyes and  help her see always carries eye drops on the court with her. 

15. Joseph Pulitzer

The newspaper publisher behind the well-known Pulitzer Prize had a retinal detachment at the age of 42. Although blindness eventually meant the end of his 16-hour workdays, Pulitzer continued to manage the New York World newspaper from home up until retirement.

16. Brittany Howard

The lead singer of the soul-rock band, Alabama Shakes, is blind in one eye. She survived retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer, in her childhood. The disease is often genetic, and sadly Howard lost his sister to retinoblastoma during childhood. Howard turned to music to cope, which eventually led to her award-winning career. If you sees signs of abnormal white reflection in a child's eye, a wandering eye, or redness and swelling should warrant an immediate visit to the ophthalmologist in any young child.

17. (Black Eyed Peas)

A band member of The Black Eyed Peas, was legally blind before having artificial lens inserted during eye surgery. He had trouble making out faces due to his decline in vision. In addition to being extremely nearsighted, he also had an eye condition where the eye moves uncontrollably called nystagmus.

18. Larry King

One of the most notable figures in television, award-winning talk show host Larry King had cataract surgery. Cataracts are a normal aging change of the natural lens inside the eye. Growth of the cataract causes vision to be blurry and can causes colors to appear less bright. Cataract surgery is a very safe and effective surgery to restore vision. Upon his retirement from CNN, King continues to write and appear on television thanks to his continued good vision.

19. Stevie Wonder

The famous musician was born blind due to a rare condition called retinopathy of prematurity. The eye disease can occur in premature babies and is due to abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina in the back of the eye. Despite the disease, Wonder is one of the most successful musicians of his time. He holds many recognition, President Barack Obama  awarded him the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

20. Georgia O'Keeffe

A famous painter known for her contributions to American modern art, O'Keeffe refused to give up her artistic vision once her eyesight began to decline from AMD. Instead, she hired assistants to help her mix her paints and eventually picked up sculpting as a new artform.