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July 21st, 2010
01:30 PM ET

What is Glenn Beck's eye disorder?

Fox TV personality Glenn Beck announced last week that he has an eye disorder known as macular dystrophy and  “could go blind the next year."

Beck began to cry during the speech at his “American Revival” tour in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday.

“I know what my wife looks like,” he said. “I know what my children look like. I have a great imagination. I know what color looks like. But I love to read.”

Beck, 46, then joked, “I thought to myself I’m too darn lazy to learn Braille.”

He said he was having trouble focusing his eyes and went to a doctor.

Macular dystrophy can be a confusing term, because it’s used broadly and interchangeably with several diseases including macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness for Americans over the age of 60.

For someone at the age of 46, the macular dystrophy Beck referred to could be hereditary forms of retina damage, said Dr. David DiLoreto, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who is not involved in Beck’s care.

There are several forms, including pattern dystrophy, adult vitelliform degeneration and dominant drusen.

Their symptoms are very gradual, mild and often painless. The early signs could be tiny blind spots, inability to distinguish objects at a distance or waviness in vision.

“It makes it difficult to perceive small objects such as reading,” said Dr. Mina Chung, an associate professor of ophthalmology, who researches retinal imaging and genetic eye diseases at the University of Rochester. “In early phases, it can be very mild, with trouble distinguishing fine targets. In later phases, it can cause legal blindness.”

The macula, which is the center part of the retina is damaged. Usually, macular dystrophy in adult onset cases does not cause complete blindness, but it could be “very disabling,” she said.

Macular dystrophy is rare compared with the more common macular degeneration, which affects at least one in 10 Americans over  age 65.

Scientists have yet to identify the gene behind macular dystrophy and a cure is not available.

Beck credited his religion for helping him cope. "After I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I truly came to a place which is the greatest blessing: Lord, if you need my eyes, they're yours. They were yours the whole time anyway. Thank you for letting me see as far as I have.”


soundoff (1,665 Responses)
  1. Ezra

    Is not this blog great for the liberals. It takes their mind off Obama and let them vent their frustrations on a conservative who has a medical condition. You are great Americans–geeezzz. Oh bye the way the liberals did not pass all those services mentioned above by a ranting socialist. Also forgot to mention who pays for it.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Shelama

    I predict that Brother Beck will announce a miraculous cure about a year from now. Buy his book and read all about it.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. dd

    no one deserves to go blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Leo

    It's not like Beck ever used his eyes to discern anything factual. Besides, he can continue to rant and rave even if he can't see the teleprompter because I'm sure he has all his hate-speech and propaganda-rants memorized by now anyway.

    I have a friend with macular degeneration. He's going to go blind within the next year (his sight is already severely diminished). However, unlike Beck, my friend doesn't have incredible insurance coverage and disposable wealth to take care of the little things. Compared to my buddy, Beck will have it easy.

    I wouldn't wish blindness or any other physical limitation on anyone, but I can't exactly feel sorry for Beck. He hasn't done anything to make intelligent people very sympathetic to him.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t22

      And why does Beck have great coverage (if in fact he does)? Because as a small businessman, he pays for it. He may even subsidize the insurance coverage of his employees like most employers do. But that's a bad thing to you I guess, right?

      July 22, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
  5. Mark13

    Wow, take out the name-calling and the general nastiness of the leftist posters here and there is not much. I repeat my challenge: I would ask the liberals, progressives, Marxists, communists (insert your preference here), what does Glenn Beck have right? It's easy to call him a moron, etc. (Saul Alinsky would be proud), but try a little honesty. What does he have right? He was alarmed that the Obama administration hired a self-avowed communist, Van Jones. Van Jones is a radical revolutionary. That is my example. Come on, folks. What else does he have right?

    July 22, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Patrick

    I wonder if any religious conservatives see this and Rush's hearing problem as a sign from God.

    No, of course not.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jeff

    I bet all of those tests he's had to go through were really expensive. I bet he's happy he has health insurance to pay for them – even though he's so selfish he didn't think tens of millions of uninsured Americans deserved access to the same level of care...

    July 22, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Davej

    So another blind hate-mongering flag-wrapped neo-Nazi. I'm sure he'll find a cure somewhere with his deep pockets and millions of worshipers.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JoeFromVT

    On June 16, 1859, more than 1000 republican delegates met in Springfield Illinois for the Republican State Convention. The candidate spoke paraphrasing a greater man said "A house divided against itself cannot stand". As I am sure you know that was Abraham Lincoln, I think this is where America is today. When the extremes of both/all parties are the only voices heard and printed in the press, We stand divided. Mr Beck, I wish you well with your medical issues and may you find peace and strength in your faith. For the rest of the people people here Conservative extreme and Liberal extremes shut-up. We are stronger when we are together not picking each other apart like so many vultures. you all are an embarrassment!

    July 22, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Robert

    Well Glen don't get a brown face while you are sniffing the dog's butt to get around when you go blind!

    July 22, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mark13

    Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Jim Jones. What do they have in common? Besides agreeing with most of the posters to this string. Besides being communist. All powerful central govt., denial of God, destruction of capitalism, and there was one more...what was it??? Oh, yeah. Kill tens of millions of your own people. OK, Jim Jones didn't have tens of millions to kill and Pol Pot ONLY killed about 3 million, but I think the point is made. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Louie

    Perhaps it has something to do with his brain atrophy.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. CANADIAN

    – I CANT' GET OVER ALL THE COMMUNIST THAT ARE IN THIS BLOG.
    – IF YOU DON'T LIKE GLENN THAN YOU MUST BE A COMMUNIST
    – GLENN BECK IS THE BEST AMERICAN THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN ON TV
    – THIS COUNTRY BECAME THE BEST COUNTRY ON LIMITED GOV
    – GLENN BECK FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Renzl in Georgia

      Whew!!! Thank God you are a Canadian! Maybe you can entice Glenn to move there??

      July 22, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • CANADIAN

      if i wanted to live in a socialist country, i would move back. You, being a socialist should move to Canada or Europe.
      IM MORE AMERICAN THAN YOU WILL EVER BE!! Im for limited gov – you are not!

      July 22, 2010 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
    • THE HEMMBECKLER

      I am with the Canadian 100%.....Those who cannot stand him must not like the truth....He has a voice and is not afraid to speak whats right no matter how many of you idiots make him out to be a bad person!!
      Go Beck!!

      July 22, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
  14. t22

    Wow, you people are so sad. First of all, Beck is not a Republican, he goes after everyone. Second, he's factually correct most of the time, it's the leaps he takes after laying out the facts that are somewhat hyperbolic. Third, hearing different voices is what makes us great. We used to have a spirit of compromise, but that is no longer the case, now it has become "let's score points". Case in point, the unemployment benefits extension – the Congress said they would pay for everything they passed, but they have come up with an exception for every penny they've appropriated. Real leadership would have led to a bill that used stimulus money and other so-called "emergency" funding (i.e. more debt) and would have produced an overwhelming "yes" vote. But the Dems just want to score points.

    Get over your liberal biases people, and stop wishing harm on those who have different political views.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. thunder1road

    These are the leaders of the right wing. Rush Limbaugh – deaf. Sean Hannity – dumb. Glenn Beck – blind. It's the classic case of the deaf, dumb, and blind leading the deaf, dumb, and blind. These people are lost in a dark closet of despair – built by the Bush Administration.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Matt

    First Rush Limbaugh loses his hearing, then Glenn Beck losing his eyesight. Sounds like the good lord and KARMA are getting these hate / fear mongering idiots what they deserve. they are poisoning peoples minds and leading radical ideology which will come back to bite them in the BUTT!

    July 22, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. goodriddance

    Man, I almost believe in God now. This couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Renzl in Georgia

    Glenn Beck is a MORON. And the problem with his eyesight is TOO MUCH VIAGRA!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Roentgen

    Is he blind yet, can't wait

    July 22, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. biased

    i have the distinct feeling that if this degenerative condition happened to someone who performed his same exact show, but was liberal, Beck would be saying that the degenerative condition were punishment from God; not unlike what Pat Roberston says every time some tragedy occurs to a non-christian/conservative sample.

    since the degenerative condition happens to be Beck's own, of course he is saying that his religion is helping him through it.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Doctor Know

    "What is Glenn Beck's eye disorder?" A)There is too much stupid to fit in his head, so it's spilling out through his eye sockets. or B) He is going blind from all that verbal masturbation.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. American

    Kill him and dissect the eyes, just to be sure what it is. This guy is below scum, below the dog poop on my shoes after I cut the grass.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • THE HEMMBECKLER

      And you call yourself an American?.....How pathetic....You are an example of what is wrong with this country!

      July 22, 2010 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
  23. Ed Wood

    Funny some people here are really blinded by hatred. A guy is told he's going to be blind. If any one of us was told that news, you would sit down and realize what you are about ot lose....who would not be brought to tears? Glen Beck is a strong believer in the orginal U.S government model and you all should be too. Power thirsty politicians are slowly assuming more and more control of people's daily lives. They are running up massive debts, and it is the debts that will be the yoke of controll that the government will use to take total control of the future generation's lives. They will not be as free as we were.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. andrew s

    This really made my day. Glenn Beck is truly the devil. No wait, no such thing.
    ........I'm just happy he is going blind

    July 22, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. DudeDad

    Not a Beck fan, but (1) sorry to hear of his ailment....I certainly hope that the progression of his disease is as slow as possible; (2) as someone who may be labeled a "liberal", I do think he has the right to express his beliefs - the key here is the word "beliefs" - when his statements are not beliefs, but rather false statements that are meant to incite hatred for those labeled one way in favor of the opposite side, I do have a problem. Beck makes crap up all the time to stir the pot and keep himself - a media whore - relevant. He, Limbaugh and Coulter have the same playbook: say something that is outrageous, wait for the media to notice it, then back-peddle and say it's the biased media taking it out of context. When the Israelis stopped the ship going to Gaza, Beck proclaimed that his show was the FIRST to show the truth and that the liberal media ignored it...of course, he left out CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, etc.....all who did air it...but if Glenn says it, it must be true, right? Those are not beliefs...they are lies....

    July 22, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. SCOTO

    I have posted elsewhere why I "hate" Glenn Beck and apparently now I am supposed to separate feelings for his medical condition from the garbage and division the man creates on his "show" So here it is. His diagnosis seems somewhat vague and not at all life threatening. Millions of us (including myself) face cancer and other challenges quietly and with as much dignity as we can muster, and without millions of dollars at our disposal or worries about meeting health care bills.
    So man up and stop your self indulgent blubbering. Its pathetic.

    July 22, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Pedro

    Looks like he cried his eyes out. Literally, this time.

    July 22, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. JoeFromVT

    read many of the post... why'd I waste my time! what a bunch of hate mongering, one up-manship. Notice I didn't say Conservative or liberal because you both are guilty. With people/voters like you all it is no wonder that our political process involves the nasty mudslinging it does, you feed on it and only build on it with more hate. Like I said in my previous post we are a house divided.

    July 22, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SCOTO

      Hi Joe from VT. I agree with you 100% , we are divided but I suggest you may have it the wrong way around. Its what our system political has become that is corrupting the people. Part of this process is people like Beck who play a certain part of our population like gullible fish with outrageous nonsense which has no basis in fact whatsoever. The irresponsible rhetoric of this man, is in my opinion a result of greed rather than genuine ideology and as such is even more morally reprehensible.

      July 22, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • Joe D

      Glenn beck gives dirtbag a bad name. He won't be any worse off, because there is no one more blind than someone who refuses to see!

      July 22, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • JoeFromVT

      Hey Scoto, I quoted Lincoln before and I use his words again a little out of context but that "... government of the people, by the people, for the people...". If our government is of the people and by the people. If that statement is true isn't government a reflection of the people/voters. our founding fathers regardless of their personal beliefs in faith new the 'people' come first and we the people put a government in place for a common good. if the 'people' are like those commenting here is it any wonder then our government is becoming dysfunctional. the framers of the constitution argued and fought but they were civil to one another despite the view points. We can't be civil because that would force us to listen to the other side and not simply try to out scream them.

      July 22, 2010 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
  29. Dan

    Even though Mr. Beck's political views are about as far from mine as it is possible to get, I can't help but feel sympathy for the man. I've been legally blind since birth, and it is not an easy thing to deal with.

    Best of luck sir.

    July 22, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dtrock79

    Maybe it's god perverse way of getting back at him for making people think he's on his side.

    July 22, 2010 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Boka

    Good. I hate that scumbag. Burn in fire, Glen Beck

    July 22, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. JimmyMikeJoeBob

    “could go blind the next year."
    Good...hopefully he becomes mute and deaf as well. I'd love to not hear anything out of this idiot anymore... I am willing to wait a year for it too... One request...I get to laugh at him as he's going deaf...I want that to be the last thing he hears...that lying ba$tard.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Joe D

    "There is no one so blind, as he who refuses to see!

    July 22, 2010 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Eden

    I'm tempted to say Beck is already blind, but that would be really mean.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Michelle

    I find it amazing how a simple story about a tv person who may go blind caused hundreds of people to post responses that are downright vicious and mean. Regardless of what you think of him as a Fox "personality", can't you have some sympathy as a human being for his medical condition? The man may lose his eyesight. I don't even watch Fox regularly but I have deep sympathy for anyone who is facing the possibility of not being able to see. Put your political feelings aside and think about this from a human perspective.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. ConcernedCitizen

    Beck is lost in his own creation Wonderland...Hs is a joker.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. decredico

    Just get him to go away. The pasty, doughy, fat fuktard deserves whatever malady he comes down with.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tom

    Who gives a shit what's wrong with his eyes; I just wish it was fatal.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tom

    I wish it was fatal.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Daneil Boom

    Oh my God! How long before he claims he's just like Job.....

    July 22, 2010 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. ART

    I once was a proud republican during the reagan years but now i've seen the light and come to realize that they do not represent me in any way. So I guess I'am a vicious liberal now because i hate faux news and everything they stand for and I hope that blindness is the least of what happens to that fat loud mouth blubbering idiot Beck

    July 22, 2010 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mattyoh

    Beck cries on every show...he's a big phony playing for sympathy.

    Researchers have described two forms of vitelliform macular dystrophy with similar features. The early-onset form (known as Best disease) usually appears in childhood; however, the onset of symptoms and the severity of vision loss vary widely. The adult-onset form begins later, usually in middle age, and tends to cause relatively MILD VISION LOSS. The two forms of vitelliform macular dystrophy each have characteristic changes in the macula that can be detected during an eye examination.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Terbear

    I do NOT wish beck ill will. Mentally he spews out more hate, and more hate and more hate. I hope while he is talking to his Mormon angel that he will have a change to treating people with respect. How could everything Obama or Pelosi etc do or act upon be so evil. I believe that Beck spews just incivility among his listeners that our democracy is in danger. He is the most negative person I've ever listened to. One nice thing 'Beck's 15 minutes of fame will pass, and America will be better off then.!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Joan Hanson

    So...how soon will he not be able to do his job and be off the air... poor FOX... losing a liar and crazy...now they will have to fill his hour with some more garbage and hate and fear mongering.
    So...to Beck..sorry your having health eye issues...God be with you...but being gone off the air is a blessing for the rest of us.

    July 22, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. ART

    Burn in hell Glenn

    July 22, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Bob

    Several years ago Rush Limbaugh went deaf from abuse of illegal narcotics. Now we hear that Reverend Rick Warren's eyes were burned and he could lose vision. Glenn Beck has macular degeneration and may go bling in a year. These self rightgeous men who hate minorities including gays are finally getting their just desserts!!

    July 22, 2010 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Doctor Know

    "What is Glenn Becks Eye Disorder??? Either A) Too much stupid to fit in one head is putting pressure on his optic nerves or B) All that constant verbal self-gratification is making him go blind...

    July 22, 2010 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Bob The Builder

    The problem he has with his eyes is he can't see the difference between his a*s and a hole in the ground.

    July 22, 2010 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Chip Pierce

    Beck is a drama queen and is full of it. He's not going blind.
    He just wants attention. What a fag.
    Talk about a guy who needs to come out of the closet.

    July 22, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. raster1944

    As for Beck, you reap what you sow! Payback can be deflating but in retrospect; he is but one of many who suffer from this disease. Do they receive this same compassion that seems to embellish these comments?

    July 22, 2010 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.