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. Daniel Xavier Morris

    Biblical justice. The Founding Fathers would be quite happy.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jb

    As my 90 yr. old grandma from the Ozarks would say – Beck is "crazy as a bed bug." Personally, I don't take anything he says at face value. While I hope he isn't losing his eyesight, it may be nothing but a ploy for sympathy. He certainly misrepresents the truth on a very regular basis.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Paulo

    Joebob, So you call liberals "clowns" and yet decry their supposed "personal attacks"? Can't say that demonstrates much logical thinking on your part. Lol.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. jimmy the freak


    July 21, 2010 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. galfridus73

    Wait... you're attacking them as "liberal clowns."

    I, for one, enjoy the hypocrisy at play there.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Gwenie

    Psalm 37:v1,2 ...Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.v35,36..I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree...Yet,he passed away and lo, he was not;yea I sought him, but he could not be found.....Need I say more?..Mr. Beck, God's mercy has run out..He now has the last word....

    July 21, 2010 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      So you're on par with God and can make that determination, Gwenie, by quoting scripture? Don't be too sure of yourself...

      July 22, 2010 at 02:15 | Report abuse |
  7. 21k

    I think it's brown-eye syndrome- he's so full of excrement that it's clouding not only his thinking (actually lack of), and now his vision.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. jan Rolstad

    Maybe this disease can effect the vocal cords

    July 21, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mike

    I may disagree with him on most things, and I think that his show makes people feel scared and angry for the sake of Fox News Corp's ratings...but he's a human being too with his own family, and for that reason my heart goes out to him and the rest of the Becks.


    July 21, 2010 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ac

    Going blind from spewing so much hate! God must be punishing him for all the acid tears he has cried. Rupert Murdoch and His Muslim Money that backs Beck? Wonder he if will take care of his lies in the end? He has been trying to create a racial rift among whites and blacks in America every since Obama was elected. I wonder why Glenn Beck is such a Racist. Is it his Mormon beliefs that no black can hold the priesthood and they carry the mark of Cain brother and killer of Able as a curse. He and Rush live to create fear and hatred among the white middle class. I believe the blindness is a curse from God as Pat Robertson would say for his sins and his lies! Why does Glenn Beck continue to make up such lies, what is so scarry is the man has begun to believe them himself!

    July 21, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Berns

      Quote: "Is it his Mormon beliefs that no black can hold the priesthood." – I doubt it, seeing as how that is not a Mormon belief, as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of black Mormon priesthood holders.

      July 21, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
  11. David in Madison Wisconsin

    I hope Glenn Beck goes blind, as G-D intended him to, for all the hate and bile he spews in the name of the almighty dollar!

    July 21, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mike Hawk

    Um.... in this instance, I'll just take a pass. No comment.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ken

    I'm fairly conservative but have never really liked listening to Glen Beck. I don't like some of his extreme views, but mostly the way he presents his points. It sounds to me rather mocking of people or opinions he disagrees with. But I looked across some of the comments on here just to see what people were saying. And I have to admit that there are so many hateful comments, it's embarrassing. I wouldn't wish blindness on any other human being whether I liked them or not. Shame on some of you people who have said such terrible things.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Americanstorm

      Well said Ken, not only embarrassing but scary that there is so much hate.

      July 21, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • dave

      I think your words should have been said the many times glen spewed filth hate and lies from his mouth, just like the bush crowd you are blind when you want to be deaf when you need to be and just plain ignorant all the time

      July 21, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
    • Americanstorm

      @Dave-I tell my children that their behavior cannot be justified by the fact their sibling did the same. How old are you?

      July 21, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
  14. Shay

    I may not agree with his viewpoints but I feel very sad for Mr. Beck. I am hoping and praying that he will get many years of sight regardless of his diagnosis! Mr. Beck I wish you and your family well. All the best take care!

    July 21, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Matt

    Well, anyone who spends that much time with their head up their own ass is bound to catch *something* eventually...

    July 21, 2010 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. dave

    The blind leading the blind hahahaha

    July 21, 2010 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. EricB

    So Rush Limbaugh loses his hearing so that he can hear no evil. Now Glenn Beck loses his eyesight so that he can see no evil. I guess Sean Hannity better get his voice checked ASAP.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. dave

    His ass has been struck with a plague,

    July 21, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. dave

    The more they try the more they die, since the beginning of time, and yet there are many so many more to go. it cannot be anymore clear to the fools, you follow a blind man.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      You're not immune to death either, friend. It's waiting for everyone, including you.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:31 | Report abuse |
  20. Americanstorm

    Wow, the intellectual left has taken over CNN. There is so much irony in the majority of these posts. The claim Beck spews hate and then go on to wish him ill. Our progressive run educational system has failed a generation, at least.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Alicia

    One word...Karma

    July 21, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brent Clinton

      Yes, and it's coming your way.

      July 21, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
    • LeeVA

      I mean really, looking at some of the statements - wishing this person goes blind, wishing his head rots off, wishing all sorts of terrible things. Are some of you actually human? Apparently not.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
  22. dave

    He lost his sight on life long ago when he sold his soul, for years this man has lived blind, as many of you are and will soon to be.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      Mind your own porch and keeping it swept clean, before going after mine, DAVE. Thanks.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:24 | Report abuse |
  23. José

    Poor Glenn. I need to go get my vicks vaporub. Seriously, why not mute and paralyzed from the face down?

    July 21, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. dave

    they should do him as they do lame dogs,

    July 21, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. herb

    I want soooooooooooooooooooo bad to say bad things about this man but GOD prevents it.I wish that GOD will come upon him during this weak moment and help him to see not just by the flesh but spiritually also.GOD BLESS GLENN

    July 21, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      He has his own god, the grand wizard.

      July 21, 2010 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
  26. Dom

    Glenn Beck isn't the enemy, he's just an idiot. If you follow this guy, you've got serious problems.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. WMesser58

    Beck has never been able to see he's blinded by his own surrealist imagination. Since, he believes in "GOD" then instead of preparing himself for the failure of his savior. Why not, have him do what he used to do. Hell, how hard can it be when he was raising the dead surely eye repair is pale in comparison.

    Then maybe he could work on beck's intolerance for everything.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. dave

    What makes this fool thinks god wants his eyes, thats almost like offering god sarah palins brains, i give him credit he is a true ignorant fool

    July 21, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. P

    I feel bad for the guy, if only because no one deserves to go blind. If he had adult onset muteness I would be OK with it.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brent Clinton

      You and I are not going to agree on issues political. . . . . . but your post was way funny. Give you that.

      July 21, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
  30. Brent Clinton

    Many of you haters are going malevolent on this great guy. To you: the wicked take the truth to be a hard thing. . . . . don't you?

    July 21, 2010 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SMUM

      BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Putting the word "truth" together with "Beck" is an oxymoron.

      July 21, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
    • Gwenie

      Brent..I am a christian and I don't know what religion you are, but I know that God can't approve of Glen Beck preaching hate and causing divison among people...that doesn't sound very Christ like to me...When I hear people calling the President of the United States a monkey,a muslim, and all kinds of ugly names, walk around with guns strapped on their hips when Jesus said, "blessed are the peace makers for they are the children of God"...yet the same people call them selves christians...Yes, there may be a lot of negative comments on here about Beck, but these people aren't calling themselves christians..Beck claim he's one but If you are going to be a christian, then you need to live and show it...some of these people on this blog talk as if Beck is some type of God or prophet...that's a form of idoltry...Glen Beck can't save them...God said in his word, "My people perish for the lack of knowledge".....A lot of these Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh followers are going to be really suprise on judgement day....

      July 22, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
  31. SMUM

    Although I don't believe a word that comes out of this clown's mouth...if he's really facing blindness, I am sorry for him. Maybe this is a good time for him to do a soul search and stop keeping a segment of Americans ignorant and stupid. Ask for forgiveness...and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop the fake crying. Maybe those contaminated tears caused the disease. It's called environmental pollution for the brainless.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Steve

    Glenn Beck is going blind and Rush Limbaugh is already deaf (okay, caused by his own chronic drug abuse, but still). What's next Sean Hannity losing his sense of taste for hating anyone not just like him and Bill O'Reilly finding out his "balance" is all out of whack? I swear, God is punishing all these awful people who instill such anger, hatred and meanness in the world.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. dave

    Only after a fool is struck down, does he then call of god. when god called on him, he was busy selling his soul to fox and the rednecks that listened,

    July 21, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Charles

    There is nothing so much wrong with his eye as there is with his sense of logic. How can people adore this man who is so greedy, self serving, and incapable of relating with reality.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Bob

    I wonder how many people that bitch about Beck actually watch his show or listen to his radio show. I bet very few...hmmm two people bitching about a program that neither has watched. Too funny!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Julia

    I'm with Nancy and the other faithful followers of Glenn Beck. And, organized religion is not what Jesus was about, nor is religion the way we should be brought together, but through truth (which the Holy Spirit brings) in Christ. And, anyone, regardless of political convictions, can be a follower of Christ. God help us all...

    July 21, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      yeah but jesus mentioned it is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than for some to enter the kingdom, dont quote part of the bible be sure to quote all that applies

      July 21, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • SMUM

      Last time I checked, God was not a republican, tea partier, birther, and much less a conservative. When the so called "christians" dragged him into politics, this country was sunk into the ground. Please leave GOD alone. And by the way, let me know when "hell" has a job opening, I'll certainly apply to be an escort for all those self-rightious, sanctimonious haters who will be in line and "sooooo surprised" as to how the heck they got there. LOL.

      July 21, 2010 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
  37. dave

    Hey Rush, its about time for your big fat ass to have a big mac attack, with all them drugs in your system,

    July 21, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. roody

    Glenn should know God works in mysterious ways 🙂

    July 21, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jeff

    I pray his head rots off.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      Wow, that's really vicious. And very bad Karma...

      July 22, 2010 at 00:14 | Report abuse |
  40. David Rogde

    Why couldn't he loose the power of speech? What good does his loosing his sight do us?

    July 21, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Jeff

    I pray his head rots off and then he dies a horible death. POS

    July 21, 2010 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Kirk

    I think it's great that he is going blind. Couldn't happen to a bigger tool. THANK YOU GOD!

    July 21, 2010 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Chris

    All I can say is I am truly sad to have to live through this time in American history. We have become nothing but a mob filled with venom, hate and intolerance. We once were a melting pot but we have become warring factions breaking on racial, religious and political lines. I sincerely hope we quickly grow beyond this dark age. If we do not we deserve the fate that awaits us.

    Agree or disagree with Mr. Becks politics or opinions the comments of most in this chain are an shameful.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. shawna

    No need to worry folks. Beck will either say he went blind because of a bad doctor courtesy of Obama care, or he'll say he was misdiagnosed by a bad doctor.. .coutresy of Obama care. Either way... he's got the Obama care angle covered. Maybe breitbart will hire him on as an undercover journalist. Beck will pretend he can't see and go into offices breitbart wants to attack. Now there's a scary duo for ya.

    July 21, 2010 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. dave

    Obama should bail out glen eyes, how i wish i could be in a room with obama when he heard, i am sure he wish he could do so much to help poor glen as much as glen helped him, its time for the fox fools to start dying off slow death not a fast but a slow painful nasty death, and I like a large percent of the usa will laugh at these fools in their death beds, and spit on the graves of each.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Americanstorm

      Please seek immediate help before you hurt someone. I hope you did not procreate (that means breed).

      July 21, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
  46. adam

    Good for him!

    July 21, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. yeahisaidit

    Now his hatred will truly be blind

    July 21, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Caron

    Blind AND dumb. WOW! what a concept. Great idea. Why didn't he think of that? Too stupid I guess.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. TeaClown

    Glen Beck is my ultimate hero. He is the consummate poser. Wrapped in theatrical spendor! As if in an enshrined temple of the gods. He casts his sputum to the masses whose receptive mouths thurst for vengence and dominance.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. dave

    beck fits the profile of a coward his entire life, just like most of his kind, so they find ways to spew crap as a way to make up for their short commings, same as the other klan over the years, but like all they die off in most cases a slow painful death.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
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