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.”
About this blog
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.
Excellent article. I absolutely love this website. Stick with it!
You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the web. I most certainly will recommend this website!
This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the site is very good.
Impressive! Thanks for the post
such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks
Iím amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this in my search for something relating to this.
A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you ought to write more about this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but usually folks don't speak about such topics. To the next! All the best!!
Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be exciting to read content from other authors and practice something from other web sites.
I used to be able to find good advice from your blog articles.
Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was really informative. Your site is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!
When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!
I used to be able to find good information from your blog articles.
Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.
I want to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ
There's certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I really like all the points you made.
This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!
Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.
I truly love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím attempting to create my very own website and want to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Thanks!
I used to be able to find good info from your content.
Howdy! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for the great information you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon.
I'm very happy to uncover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff in your site.
Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve been to your blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely delighted I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!
This is a topic that's near to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be exciting to read through content from other authors and practice a little something from their web sites.
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes which will make the largest changes. Many thanks for sharing!