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. jonny

    Gotta love havin Glenn Beck around. So many people hate him so much. Others love him to death. Must mean that he makes a stand. Have to respect someone who makes a stand, even if u hate their guts. It'd be no good to lose your vision, no doubt about it. He's quite the entertainer turned politico- used to listen to his radio show- hilarious guy. Best of health to u beck.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. dave

    when he dies and standing before god, i wonder will he use his blackboard and speak of all the hate he lived, he will be but naked not hiding behind the cameras of fox shit network,

    July 21, 2010 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 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 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Prophet

    Those who spill bile and hate upon a man who may soon be blind will reap what they sow. We can differ in our politics but we should not shed our humanity at the blog post door.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      tell this to the bottom feeding republicans before you come here preaching, tell it to sarah palin, john mccain, and all the other dick heads that spew hate as a living,

      July 21, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    as i look at his smile, he's a punk from day one.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Glad

    Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck: Deaf, dumb and blind.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • glenbeck=nutjob

      omg this is so funny! i guess I should have written "lol".

      July 23, 2010 at 01:29 | Report abuse |
  7. Josh P

    I don't agree with Glenn Beck's opinion or positions. However, this is a terrible thing for any person to face. I wish all the best for Glenn Beck.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      yeah i wish his blind ass the best also ,,,,,,,, ha ha ha

      July 21, 2010 at 22:13 | Report abuse |
  8. Bill Bong

    i wish he had a massive heart attack instead.... if this isnt the greatest example of the karma police busting you, i dont know what is

    July 21, 2010 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. maria

    Glen Becks eye problem is hate and evilness.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. mike l

    I bet this is just another beck scam. He'll be miraculously cured right before election day. Actually, I guess he didn't believe his dad who told him if he didn't stop doing it, he'd go blind.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. dave

    Maybe dr gupta gupta can save this asshole

    July 21, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. dave

    CNN thank you for this blog, you knew we had words for fox news hahahahaha

    July 21, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RightWingNeoconWhackJobs

    How is it a personal attack, when Beck has been pandering hate for bucks for years? As long as the right wing whack jobs keep spewing forth their pitard, we won't shut up. Get used to it.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Gpenn

    I'll believe it when I see it. I think this is a ratings ploy.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sara

    I agree with Nancy! It's so strange how mad Glenn makes all the liberals! Wonder why he gets on your nerves so bad...could it be that the truth is hard to take! How evil are you that you think it's humorous to joke about a serious health problem? Call me crazy but I was raised not to wish harm to anyone...Period. Guess I was raised better than some others out there......

    July 21, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      yeah i am sure you are a bottom feeding uneducated inbred just like the rest of fox news listeners, go sleep with you dad princess and call it a day

      July 21, 2010 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
  16. Donnie

    He gets what he deserves. It's about time Karma started working.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      Well, if that's how it works, I'm sure you'll get what you deserve, whatever that may be.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
  17. dave

    It may just be shit in his eyes from having his head so far up fox news ass for so long,

    July 21, 2010 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Hmm..

    Now he can't see if people are black or white...karma is a very big bitch my friend......

    July 21, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      Good point, he used obama color so long, now he can only see one color, life is a bitch

      July 21, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
  19. dave

    Hey glenn you made your money from fox news, now lets see you take that money and buy your soul back fool

    July 21, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. hmungus

    Beck is only as dangerous as the people he quotes. Obama, Van Jones, Rev. Wright, etc...

    July 21, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      And who is going blind again,

      July 21, 2010 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
  21. Ergee

    I feel bad for Glen or anyone placed in his position with the possibility of losing one's sight. I like how all of the left-wingers who always clamor for kindness, acceptance, and love for others, act like a bunch of in-bread hyena's at a carcus when it comes to belittling Glen. Well, is shows the depth of one's character when you kick them when their down. We're getting exactly what was asked for when we got our change. It appears easier than even I thought to show what our President stands for by simply adding two letters. USA=>USSR.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      yeah and whos going blind,

      July 21, 2010 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
    • Caron

      Glenn Beck spewed anger, hatred, and fear mongering. He does not deserve respect because he gave none. He does not deserve compassion because he withheld it from others. He does, however, deserve all of the negative comments on this blog. What you reap, you sow. I will reserve my love and compassion for the innocents he sought to abandon, for the homeless and helpless he scorned, for the thoughtful, kind souls who serve others; those he ridiculed. For all of the unemployed, homeless and helpless that he wanted to pull the rug from under - I feel compassion. For Glenn Beck, I feel utter disdain.

      July 21, 2010 at 22:58 | Report abuse |
  22. Kelly


    Yes, I am yelling, but you nonetheless read the comment

    July 21, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      CNN put this here with a big pic of the asshole , you did not think we could keep quiet did you hahahahha

      July 21, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Caron

      No, my dear. We are simply taking a few moments of our time to give a primo neocon a taste of his own brand of "compassion." It was the lst 17 years of neocon talk radio that taught me everything I know about expressing hatred.

      July 21, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
    • LeeVA

      Spot on, Kelly, and I will add, it's not Glenn Beck they should take issue with, but with dark forces they fail to recognize. They are far more 'blind' than he'll ever be, and in a far more dire state of existence.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:52 | Report abuse |
    • jojo

      aww Kelly stfu.....another troll living in opposite world...can't think for yourself no matter how much evidence is right in front of your face. You're like Michael Brown telling Brian williams that he has no information about thousands in the houston arena in dire straits in need of help...while williams points out to him it's ON THE TV RIGHT NEXT TO HIM. Nope..not happening. lalalala can't hear you. idiot.

      July 22, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  23. Gene Venable

    There are clowns on both sides of the political spectrum. You may have noticed anti-Obama clowns, for example, not just liberal clowns.

    I may go blind the same way Beck expects to, and I have one word for both of us: audiobooks, Glenn, audiobooks. And learning Braille might be fun, too.

    Oh, and here's another word of advice: don't make a public spectacle out of your problem. Oops, too late.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sleestack

    He didn't really see things very clearly to begin with. Still, this sucks.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tom R.

    Perhaps his Mormon god decided to take his eyesight bechase of all the lying he does on a daily basis on his Republican show.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sam

    my post was in answer to Bill Gilman.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Marc Bellagamba

    Is his God teaching him not to hate? No.... my guess there is nothing wrong and there will be a miraculous cure.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. stanley

    it may be related to his nazi tourettes.

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

    I've seen this for so long, the more and more these fools try to bring hurt upon obama the more they fall with no help from anyone, I just love how god protects his own. i say just keep trying so the more of you meet your fate sooner. and the bottoms feeders shall weep for they know no better.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sammer

    Poor Glen, my daughter started going blind at age 10 – perhaps that is why we dems support stem cell research.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. dave

    I bet his ass wont be seeing russia from his house

    July 21, 2010 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Brian

    Is it a conspiracy?

    July 21, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jeff

    I strongly disagree with his politics, but it is still a terrible thing that he has this disease. I wish him the best in dealing with this scary health issue.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. dave

    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, the fool has not seen thats why he is loosing his eyes

    July 21, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Daws

    Great, now he gets to have a martyr complex... while it always sucks when this happens to someone, this man was blinded long ago. I will feel sorry for him, but he makes it difficult, especially given that if this happened to someone that couldn't afford healthcare, and that healthcare could take care of this (which I know, makes this a hypothetical, since it can't...) Glenn would probably tell that person tough titties.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. wcb2009


    July 21, 2010 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Randy

    So we have, Hear no evil Limbaugh and now we have See no evil Beck.Now if we could only get the right to Speak no evil.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sammer

      Perhaps Palin will stop speaking.

      July 21, 2010 at 22:56 | Report abuse |
  38. MountingLosses

    Not only do I hope he goes totally blind, I hope it's hideously painful.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Don't Be A Sucker

    Why am I not suprised at all the Hate comments on C N N towards Becks very serious medical condition....Far-left LIbs..Ha...the ones who scream about 'Tolerance' and tout themselves as the Intellectiuals of our nation, the Champions of Respect for ALL human life...You guys are as hypocritical as your Neo-Con counterparts...You have your own issues of hate to deal with

    Side note: Who here knows who coined the term 'Republicans' ?...Answer: The King of England, this was his reference to them after the Colonists declared independance from England...Don't be fooled by the "Left vs Right" Bull S*&T......Look inside for your Independence..."If you only flap 1 'Wing' you can never soar"

    As a father of a 3 year old, I can honestlysay that someone would have to do something REEEEEEALLY F-ing terrbile for me to "applaud" or "embrace" the idea of a parent not being able to see his child get his diploma, teach his son to rive a car, watch his daughter get married


    Because I don't like his politics ? ..........Do i really need to tell you how petty and sad that is ?
    Find some way to heal your hearts

    You don't like Becks actions...okay...."He drew a circle to keep me out; A Heretic, A Rebel, A Thing to flout....But with Love and Wit we will win, We'll draw a circle that takes him in"

    Translation....surround you "percevied enemy" with Kindess and allow your abundance of good energy rub off on them

    Now...If you squeeze an apple you get apple juice because that's what's inside–So–When Glen Bek 'Squeezes' you, whatcomes out ?...No need to tell me, take a look in the mirror and ponder it

    Is Love really in your heart ?....Then "Pray / Meditate" for him

    July 21, 2010 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. dubby

    this guy is a psychopath...

    July 21, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. dave

    Fox news is a Klan supported broadcast and not ment to be taken seriously.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. tired of the B.S.

    Don't particulary like Glen Beck, but damn sure don't like where this country is headed. People like John in Indiana you can only hope they never have kids. If they were total morons and bigot/racist like there dad they would never live to see the destruction of this country by our current Presidents policies. If he is an independent thinker lord help us all. I would pray for a quick death or even a painful slow one as long as i didn't have to see or listen to some retarded buffoon ( his words) like him. The health care reform bill is the one of the biggest pieces of s@#@ known to mankind. It was not designed to help the middle class as Hippocrites Disgust Me believes (he should actually read some of it before spouting off about it) Why do you think they would only say "wait to you see what is in it". Its because if we knew what was in it we would not want it. Would you buy a car or house or anything if someone told you wait to you see it but you got to buy it first. I dont believe there is a soul here that would. I DON"T want the govt. screwing up my life i can do it fine by myself. The govt now controls our healthcare, auto industry, finance industry, insurance industry,and soon our energy industry with Cap & Trade. We are trillions of dollars in debt and sinking more and more everyday. All i ever hear is we inherited this mess. Bullsh#t. Obama is ruining our country and you idiotic,imbecile, people that put him in office share the blame. How about that hope & change and open and tranparent administration he had promised. This man WILL ruin our country if not voted out ASAP .Why do you think all these illegal aliens want to come here? Because THEY know America is the greatest country on earth. If you want free healthcare move to another country. If you want affordable healthcare get rid of Obama and get rid of this atrocious healthcare bill. Hell even the politicians that voted for it exempted themselves. Doesn't that tell you something. You would think even an Idiot half-brained liberal/progressive like most of you could understand that but it sure doesn't seem like it after reading some of these post. Anyway don't like glen beck but at least he didn't vote for Obama.. I am sure somebody will call me a racist because i dont like Obama. I would feel the same way about any man if he did the same things he is doing. Kick all the politicians out and start over.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Margot707

    Oh wow!1 "See no evil" (the Beckster), "Hear no evil" (Rushbo), "Speak no evil" (Bill-o) – Faux News' version of the "Three Stooges."

    July 21, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Todd

    Personal attacks? that's all you neo-con – tea baggers work on. You offer nothing, just attack – day in day out. You have lost the last three election – wonder why?

    July 21, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Rick

    Betcha a year from now this guy will be seeing things in exactly the right light. Can't wait for the suckers to start sending him money...

    July 21, 2010 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. captdope

    I am not a fan of Glenn Beck. To profit off of and promote ignorance is disgusting. I hope, if anything, this raises awareness about macular dystrophy.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. James

    His disorder is in his brain.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Cindy in Ohio

    Karma's a bitch~!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. FemaleMarineVet

    It is very fitting that Beck looses his sight-he has already lost his mind.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Caron

    You're kidding, right? Conservative loudmouths have been filling the airwaves with their anger, hatred, and filth for 17 years now. Go away!!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Leave a Reply to Maryland Peralez


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

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.