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.
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
I like it when people get together and share ideas. Great site, keep it up!
This is the perfect website for anyone who wishes to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that's been discussed for ages. Excellent stuff, just great!
Good blog you've got here.. Itís hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!
When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!
Itís hard to find experienced people in this particular topic, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read through articles from other writers and practice a little something from their web sites.
This is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!
Itís nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
Good article! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.
Great post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.
I really love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my very own site and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!
Itís nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
Itís nearly impossible to find well-informed people about this topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks
Thank you, I've just been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?
The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I actually believed you'd have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.
Keep this going please, great job!
Thanks for the information.
A great read. I'll definitely be back.
Wow this blog is very nice!
Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this web site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!