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. jakekub

    So here are the 400+ people that actually watch CNN, I wondered where they are were and now I know. All your posts are so impressive, and you are all so smart. It's too bad that most of these posts are vile and negative, goes to show you what happens when you truly believe you are better and smarter than everyone else. What the hell do any of you really know anyway, other than what you read and hear. None of you know half of what you think you know, and trying to convince the rest of us you know the other half makes you 100% foolish.
    Keep your nastiness to yourself and feel bad for a guy that may lose his sight. It could happen to your 2 eyes someday. For those of you that have said nice things, thanks for being decent people.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. john


    July 21, 2010 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sammer

    Poor Glenn! My daughter started going blind at age 10. That's why we dems support stem cell research.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Todd

    Drugie Rush's hearing and now this buffoon's sight ! I hope Sister Sarah i.e. Caribou Barbie looses her ability to speak, but then we would loose a lot of comedy in the world if that happened. We need one idiot working fully...

    July 21, 2010 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jerry


    Error filled? Reread the bible please. You don't consider the story of Jesus "authentic spiritual teaching?" Even atheists consider the gospels of Christ spiritual. My children know many of the stories in the bible. I think they're doing just fine.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. John (orego)

    I have read many of the posts on here and a lot of the people really dont like Beck. They say he spreads fear and hate. His message is pretty straight forward. Basically he is saying Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Nothing wrong with that. Do the people who dislike him so much even watch him?

    July 21, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ron brooks

    Glenn Beck is full of hot air like a used car salesman. He tries to sell gullible people everyday on his insane theories. As for his crying, he does it for sympathy and truly believes his masses will feed his extraordinary large ego. Glenn is nothing more than a political evangelist brainwashing his flock of followers with his nonsense. He will crash and burn soon from his high pulpit like most of the nut cases.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Trash

    Pay him 10 million dollars or god will take his sight! PONY UP B1tch3s!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LeeVA

    I don't agree with everything Beck says, but I would never wish blindness on anyone. You never know when that bad karma sent out may come back to haunt one with a vengeance. So many afflictions out there. Anyhow, I believe his heart is in the right place. Prayers to him.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Carl

    The good news is that great strides have been made in the prevention of blindness, maybe something will come along that will help reduce the effects of his disorder. The bad news is that there is no cure for stupid, no way to mitigate the damage that his stupidity can and does cause.

    Sorry about your health issues Glenn, but try not to be such an idiot in the future. I remember the signs on every building in Mt. Vernon asking you to please get the hell out and how many of us in Skagit county are pissed at that mayor for wanting to give you the key to the city.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tom

    I find it absolutely uncanny, that those "personalities" on "FAUX" news are suddenly having all these physical problems.

    First Limbaugh with his hearing loss, and now Beck, with his vision loss.

    I guess when one harbors as much HATE as these two, it manifests itself in the physical form, also.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Brett in middle america

    All praise Mr. Beck! It would be such a shame if a man who has helped people see so much lost his sight. I cannot wait to see you on the Mall.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mike L

    Tunnel vision

    July 21, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. evensteven

    I'm not a fan of Glenn's but I do wish him the best with his eye condition.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rolf Nordahl

    Devine retribution?

    July 21, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. mustardseedcurriculum

    Didn't he just copy a Rush ploy? Beck is not only stupid and a liar he's mentally ill.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Elliot Chase

    First we had Rush Limbaugh's miraculous cure from hearing problems. Now we have Glenn Beck's vision problems. Next we will be probably treated to Sarah Palin's uterine problems and finally Michelle Bachman's discovery that she is mentally ill.

    These "conservatives" are an ailing bunch and with any luck we will be rid of this particularly viral run of them within the next five years or so. Mr. Porcine Limbaugh will die. Mr. Beck will be outed as a complete psychopath. Ms. Palin will succumb to her narcissism and Ms. Bachman will reveal that she suffers from the mental derangement caused by syphilis.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Kevin Cantu

    I don't listen to Glen Beck on the regular I wish him well and I hope it isn't as serious as it is. I know some people on the left and the right like to spew vile towards people they idolize but it would be very humane for those of you who both hate and adore GB to at least put aside your differences and wish this man well... I know I will.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Brett in middle america

    Maybe it's from all the facial shots of Rush's man juice he's absorbed.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. ERIC1970

    I feel sorry for him only in the sense that he will no longer be able to see his family as this would be the most difficult part for me as a parent.

    I do not agree with this thoughts and how he goes about spewing them, but as an American that is his right. He is a angry man that is truly unable to see another person's view point and he will do almost anything to get his point a cross.

    He has made a ton of money with his current position, I am sure he will be able to spend it when he is not on the radio any longer.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jeron

    Good Lord people, while I do not agree with the political thoughts of Glen Beck; my biggest problem with the left wing has been exposed in these comments. I consider myself a democrat, but if people of either party truly want peace or to make our nation/world a better place they have to stop attacking individuals. Glen has a family just as you all do, he has beliefs just as you all do. Why condemn a man for speaking his mind (even though he is wrong). If you truly disagree with what he has to say then speak about the subject he brought up not the man who brought it up. Why is he deservant of going blind? Just because people dont treat others with humanity all the time doesnt mean they dont deserve to be treated with it. God bless and may peace fill your lives.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grace

      ty..ditto... 🙂

      July 21, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
  22. John (orego)

    "people want a hand up, not a hand out"

    July 21, 2010 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. JJoseJJ

    Have any of you folks ever actually watched his program? Evidently not, gauging from the comments posted here.
    When I was young, Democrats pretended to stand for compassion, at least during that brief moment of time. Now it seems you are reverting back to your racist, hateful ways of the slavery days. Remember, virtually all Confederates and slave owners were Democrats. Then they found a way to capitalize on the disenfranchised, but you've never really changed who you are.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Sarzac

    I despise Glenn Beck and his political views. However, I would not wish loss of eyesight on anyone.

    July 21, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rsenior

    Beck is a libertarian, not a republican. There is a major difference!

    July 21, 2010 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Nostradamus

    Well, my Bible says that God is not only love, but rather He also punishes, strong and painful. . . .I believe that Mr. Beck is harvesting on his body all that hate against the minorities that he has sowed in millions of Repug morons and bigots self called Christians.....I have absolutely no pitty for this scumbag, master of the hatred.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Joanne

    Hey Glen, karma can be hell! Enjoy

    July 21, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Jason

    Oh, so you Right wing nuts can dis the living, the dying, and the dead out of no bases what so ever all day long but if someone from the outside touches your delicate golden fuzzes you think that God has forsaken the world. Jesus, and I thought the NAACP is full of bull.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Texlahoma

    Wow I don't feel alot of love here...seems like alot of haters that can't stand the truths that Beck has uncovered over the last few years...bet CNN kicks themselves in the arse for not trying to keep him from leaving, I'm sure they could use the ratings right now.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. aroth

    I didn't realize "being an idiot" now counts as a formal disorder.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. MountingLosses

    Now if maybe Alaska's Bible Spice will lose her voice, I might get some peace around here!

    July 21, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Texlahoma


    July 21, 2010 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Steve


    July 21, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Chris

    I can assure you that few people have a lower opinion of Mr. Beck than I do, but I just can't bring myself to kick him when he's down. While I disagree with nearly 100% of his political views, my chief criticism of him is the way he incites anger and hatred on both sides of the political aisle. I would not be entitled to that criticism if I were to take a cheap shot at him now. I won't judge, and I won't presume to know what he deserves.

    Mr. Beck, I hope your doctors are wrong. I hope your eyes serve you well for many more years. I certainly hope that my political views prevail over yours, but at any rate I hope we both see a gentle, strong, and prosperous America emerge from the turmoil of our present.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. andrew

    jc!!! if ever the term "liberalism is a mental disorder" was proven correct, this comment section MUST be it. you freakin people are craaaaazzzzy. not like, take 3 shots of tequila and get on the bar and dance like a stripper crazy, more like the character cameron "don't you know that when you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not" diaz played in vanilla sky crazy. seriously, you are a pathetic bunch of hate-filled, foaming at the mouth, mentally impaired, kicking and screaming ranters.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Disappointed

    If the general comments on this board are representative of the greater population, then America is in a sad state of affairs. I don't care what your political inclination may be, you are nothing but a pathetic lowlife to mock/wish evil upon a man who is going through a tragedy in his life. If you use the excuse "Well Glenn Beck was a hater, etc" to justify your hatred, then you are nothing but a hypocrite.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Grace

    Wow!!! Just plain, WOW!!!!!!!!! I am going to have to change parties. Being a liberal now a days means something different than it did some years ago. Most of the posts that I read are so mean from my side (liberals) and the conservatives are nice. What is with this? Real liberals are almost non-existent now a days. Most are turning into progressives, and turning against what we once stood for. Well this is not the first time I have seen this. It has been happening more and more. This is it, using someones problem to set a political stage, so so wrong. I am going to have to start watching Glenn Beck. May the Lord forgive me for ever being part of the party that attacks people so much and so harshly. Good luck Glenn Beck with your eyes. At least his problem being posted and all the comments let me see how blind I have been, watching my party fall apart and turn into progressives.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BUTCH123

      cheers, grace. me too.-these people are scary. liberalism was once about truth and honesty and freedom. expression. now they are rabid, bloodthirsty revolutionaries who wish death on their countrymen who disagree with them. change we can believe in, huh? i don't think so. this is a nightmare. i don't think i'll ever vote democratic again. they are insane.

      July 22, 2010 at 00:58 | Report abuse |
    • Jon B

      I think the difference is that you are just now noticing...

      July 22, 2010 at 01:43 | Report abuse |
  38. jimbob

    read tawdrysoup dot com for some good satire and at least get a laugh out of these idiots.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jason

    I want to feel sorry for this guy, just like I felt sorry for Rush Limbaugh when he was hospitalized, but after the human walrus vibrated his blubber against the dead, the unemployed, the poor, and everything else that didn't fit in his elitist circle, I realized that once a person is an A hole, he or she will always be one, and the only thing the world should be sad about toward Beck and other A hole drama queens is that the "disease" won't shut his trap.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Jeffrey

    It's funny, all these people spewing vile things about the man, but nobody can seem to give one salient or legitimate example of what is so vile about him...

    July 21, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Semaj

    It's the total vacuum behind his eyes that is the crux of Beck's problems.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Observer

    How can anyone tells when Beck's tears are sincere since he fakes them at times?

    July 21, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. John Moraski

    He will find a way to say this is all Obama's fault

    July 21, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jeffrey

    It's funny, all these people spewing vile things about the man, but nobody can seem to give one salient or legitimate example of what is so vile about him.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Hardy Rodenstock

    I wish he would go mute. But blind is a good start.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Roentgen

    Good stuff, no one escapes the great One, Kharma, just hope it happens sooner than later.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. spidey1087

    First Rush Limpbaugh goes deaf and now Glenn Beck goes blind?? Don't you Neo-cons seen a pattern here? Are you really so DUMB that you can't see that you're being sent a message?

    July 21, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Khesanhkid

    Ironic, Beck was involved in a ratings war while a Phoenix AZ disk jockey and called his competitor's spouse to chastise her for losing a baby at birth. I refuse to believe he is losing his sight until it is proven beyond a doubt this is the case...thats what people like Beck have created in this nation. His morality is jaded and one can only say they hope Beck University finds a cure.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jason

    I wish macular dystrophy were fatal...but unfortunately it is not.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Dino

    Wow...the only common denominator I see here is that most people, and thank whatever god you pray too, don't like Mr. Beck. It would be sad for anyone to lose their vision and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone but I would vote for Mr. Beck to lose his voice for a very long time. Mr. Beck, you are a bully, a con man and a misinformation pimp. You are an actor who gets paid way to much for your work. For our nations sanity and well being, can we please get this man off the air!

    July 21, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
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