Lisa George from Coronation Street looking sad in a green top

Doctors tell Coronation Street star Lisa George she could go blind as star diagnosed with incurable eye condition

She's worried about what it'll mean for her career

Coronation Street star Lisa George has shared her fears after doctors diagnosed her with a genetic eye condition that could see her go blind.

Lisa, who plays Beth Tinker in the ITV soap, started to develop problems in 2016 when a gardening “incident” saw her lose the sight in her right eye.

As a result of being hit in the eye by a piece of rope, doctors told Lisa that she’d lost part of the sight at the bottom of her right eye. They then added that, unfortunately, it would never come back.

Lisa George from Coronation Street looking sad in a green top
Lisa George has said her Coronation Street bosses have been very understanding (Credit: YouTube)

Coronation Street star Lisa George on ‘frightening’ eye condition

Lisa told the Daily Mail: “Corrie were great. They printed my scripts in a bigger font to make it easier but I just wasn’t getting any explanation as to what had happened. I had scans, dye put into my eyeball, but the doctors were split as to whether it was the trauma from the rope or something else that had caused the haemorrhage at the back of my eye.”

The actress spent the next six years visiting various eye hospitals. In the summer of 2022, things worsened when Lisa suffered a second incident – this time in her left eye.

She was driving home from co-star Katie McGlynn’s birthday party and “couldn’t tell whether the lorries in front of me were merging into one, it was very frightening”.

‘Worst experience of my life’

Lisa said she went to A&E the next day and stayed in hospital for a week. She said it was “one of the worst experiences of my life”.

“I had a CT scan on my head, two lumber punctures, and they wouldn’t let me take my medication for my diabetes which was making feel really poorly. No one seemed to have a clue what had happened. They just said: ‘You’ve got nerve clusters.’ After a week they sent me home and told me to take aspirin for the pain.”

She was eventually diagnosed with – NAION (non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy). It causes sudden vision loss in one eye.

Lisa George smiling in a bright red jacket
The actress has spent years trying to get to the bottom of what’s wrong with her vision (Credit: Splash News)

Impact on job at Coronation Street

And Lisa said that it has affected her job on Coronation Street. However, she said her soap bosses have been “brilliant”. They arranged transport for her when she couldn’t drive. Her scripts are also printed out in a larger font. Directors have also changed scenes to accommodate her vision problems.

She also said that she’s had problems during night shoots. Lisa admitted that she “struggled to see the edge of a pavement” during one shoot. And she’s tripped over leads and wires backstage, too.

Looking to the future, Lisa is worried about life after Corrie. She said that a visit to the theatre recently, where the stage plunged into darkness at the end as the actors exited, left her fearful she’ll never work in theatre again.

“I came out of there and I thought, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to work on the stage again. There’s no way I’d be able to see if I had to come off the stage in the dark. The panic and fear set in and I got really upset. It really hit me real hard, how am I going to cope in the industry in the future?” she said.

Coronation Street star Lisa George: ‘I’ll never get my full sight back’

Lisa admitted that doctors have told her she will never fully get her sight back.

“We don’t know what could happen in the future. My doctor was dead straight with me. She said that I would never get my full sight back. The damage was done and I had to live with it. When it first happened I was so petrified but I can’t worry about what could or couldn’t happen, it’s no way to live. I’ve just got to get on with it.”

Read more: Who’s leaving Coronation Street in 2024?

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor