Eamonn Holmes, 61, recalls ‘panic’ after realising he could go blind due to painful shingles
Eamonn Holmes has recalled his ‘panic’ after being told by a doctor that he could go blind due to painful shingles.
The television presenter, 61, also admitted that seeing himself in the mirror with red scars on his face was like ‘waking up in a horror movie’.
Eamonn was struck down with the illness in 2018 and spoke publicly of his experience this year in a bid to raise awareness.
Health woes: Eamonn Holmes, 61, has recalled his ‘panic’ after being told by a doctor that he could go blind due to painful shingles
On his health battle, he told the Mirror this week: ‘I literally jumped back at my image shouting “what the heck is this?” It was like waking up in a horror movie.
‘When I called my doctor and said it was on my face the first question was, “Is it near your eyes? Don’t touch your eyes because it could affect your vision – you could go blind. Get down here to let me see it”. It was panic stations.’
Last month, Eamonn shared a picture of himself on Instagram from when he had shingles in 2018, with his face looking puffy, and red marks and scabs visible on his skin.
He thanked ITV and television show Loose Women for letting him speak out on the matter after making a recovery, but admitted he was shocked to have contracted the illness, a rash caused by the reactivation of chickenpox.
‘Horror movie’: The presenter was struck down with the illness in 2018 and admitted that seeing himself in the mirror with red scars on his face was like ‘waking up in a horror movie’
The chances of suffering shingles and the severity of the illness increases after the age of 50, with it becoming more likely during times of stress or when the immune system is lowered.
And Eamonn believes it was stress that triggered his illness in 2018, saying his status as a freelance worker was challenged by HM Revenue & Customs when they claimed he worked for ITV and should pay more tax, resulting in a court appearance.
The broadcaster took time off work to recover from shingles, saying he could not have gone on television looking the way he did at the time.
Painful past: The screen star has also spoken of his back pain on television this year after two slipped discs in his spine left him with nerve damage, leaving him needing a stick to walk
He said the illness also impacted his eldest son Declan’s wedding, adding: ‘I had makeup all over my face trying to pretend everything was fine, but my eyes were just two slits.’
While most people make a full recovery from shingles, Eamonn admits he was ‘blissfully ignorant’ but now realises people need to be more aware.