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. Tim Hau

    I think someone gave him this disease. They gave it to him to silence him. I just feel sorry for Beck.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jeffrey

    All these crass and unfounded complaints against the man are sort of silly. Can anyone give just one salient and legitimate complaint against the man (that you can adequately reference)?

    July 21, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jayakumar

    I truly do not like Glenn Beck's biased and one-sided political views, but I definitely would not like him to be afflicted with this disease. I do hope and pray that his condition does not get worser. I feel sorry for him. Wish you the best Mr. Beck.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mslman71

    Wow, and you guys accuse the right of being hateful? Classic.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Goldmember

    Beck is a scam, people he is looking for sympathy so you could buy his conspiracy books.
    I am a Goldmember, so I know what I am talking about.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ann

    I "LOVE" it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Paul. Angry Liberal

    I haven't been reading the previous comments, but I'm sure someone has said any of the following

    1) Karma.
    2) Saw some video of his show and his eyes shut down in protest of the idiocy they were forced to witness
    3) The rotting in his brain is spreading.

    Sure, fine, mean old liberal for kicking him while he's down, but he is without question, one of the most negative influences on attitudes in your country. The man is a narcissistic bastard, entirely self-serving and a total fraud. He's a comedian with a mean shtick that takes years to get to the punchline. He, Rush and Bill-o need reprogramming.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. LouAz

    His occular nerve has gotten twisted by his spinchter nerve and he has a $h1ty outlook on life. He incessant crying doesn't help. He, like me, like most men, have some degree of macular dystrophy as they get older. It may or may not get bad enough to really turn into a signaficant degradation in his sight. Being the phonie that he is, he will use any, ANY, bull to gain sympathy. He really is a disgusting excuse for a human being.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Zman

    This has to be the best comment section I have ever read!The neo-cons upset at people voicing their opinions and calling them vicious...boy is that a laugh! And all the constitutional talk...tha'ts a good one too.Not to mention the so-called 'christian country' views.What a crock....All those wonderful values like blacks only being 3/4 human,so not being entitled to vote...even though they fought in the revolutionary war(on our side)and women only getting the right to vote in the 1920s.I'm sure Mr beck hasn't offended anyone with any demeaning or hateful rhetoric...he is so undeserving....NOT. He is receiving what he dishes out and that is what he deserves.Please keep up the ridiculous comments Beck lovers....I haven't laughed so hard in years!!

    July 21, 2010 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rolf Adams

    I skimmed the comments made regarding Glenn Beck. Don't all you very intense people realize there are two political parties in our country?. Party #1 – Pols who truly care about people. Party #2- Pols who could not care less about people. By people I include all those who have responded to the news regarding Glenn Beck's illness. You (plural) have gotten all worked up about Elephants versus Donkeys to the extent that prompted another Rolf ( Rolf Nordahl ) to comment, "divine retribution?" It seems that the "best" thing that the Obama-Pelosi Presidency has done is gotten many people interested in politics. The results of all this drama will eventually play out. We will exit the theatre wondering where we went wrong{depending on your point of view). I hope Glenn Beck's diseased eyes get cured just like the released Lockerbie terrorist seems to be cured of prostate cancer. Now there's something to vent hatred on; the release of the terrorist who took away all those lives on Pan-Am flight 103. Rolf, Queens, NY

    July 21, 2010 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LeeVA

    Wow, amazing the viciousness of some people on here. But you never know. Sometimes sending out such bad Karma and wishing ill on others perhaps will come back a round and bite you with the same kind of viciousness. I wouldn't wish blindness on my worst enemy - A, because it's evil, and B, because I'd fear I might just get to experience the same thing my self later for wishing it on someone else. Hold those thoughts, some of you, and remember.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. bern

    That is good for him what goes around come around!

    July 21, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Zev

    Is this the Lord's way to tell Glen that he is not seeing the world very clearly?

    July 21, 2010 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ron

    Xavier boy – you talk very tough over the internet. It takes alot of courage to insult and threaten others over email and text. Your family must think you are SOOOOO tough. I bet you blog at times too!!!! You may even take lunch money over the internet. Man, you are soooooooo awesome. I bet you even have a twitter account to make fun of stuff. It must be AWESOME to be as tough as you.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. shirley

    i simply can't conjure any sympathy.
    he's just too much of an ass hat.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. shirley

    the man is an *ss hat.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Goldmember

    Glenn Beck is an Honest Thief, leave Glenn Beck alone....sniff.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. shirley

    he's so righteous and wonderful

    July 21, 2010 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Mary

    I find it so ironic! this man who has been blinding the weak minded with hate for so long is going BLIND! Karma? Poetic Justice? whatever it is...maybe God wants him to spend some time looking inward, rather than searching the web for conspiracy theories to throw out there. This could also be a bid for sympathy on his part too....we'll see if he really starts having vision problems. Or maybe he is setting the stage for a dramatic cure from God himself for trying to "help America see the way of the LORD!" lol Well, I'm glad he is so willing to give his eyes to God, cause Satan has had his SOUL for years!

    July 21, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. aatami

    Joebob, this is what's called Karma. You'll probably need to look that up but trust me, this is the only thing that has made sense concerning this idiot since day one.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LeeVA

    It's amusing and a bit disconcerting seeing all the angst on here about Glenn Beck. And then there are all the attacks and insults. It's not Glenn Beck or his supporters one has to worry about, it's something far more sinister and in a league of its own. And it has many by their throats, and they don't even realize it. Not yet, anyhow.

    July 21, 2010 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. DassRight

    Who gives a rodent's rectum??

    July 21, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. John Smith

    I challenge you Beck haters to watch 3 of his show in a row. I just bet not one of you will. Here is a guy that loves what America is and has been in the past. We're all Americans aren't we? Instead of hating someone who you don't agree with, try to understand him. Beck is one of a few people who has done the research and I have learned thing that honestly I should have learned in school about American history. I really hope you take me up on my challenge and if you still hate him then so be it.

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

      Ya gotta be kidding, right?

      July 22, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • 4Hypatia

      I am a liberal, and I wish the man no ill-will, but I do watch his show all the time - just for laughs! I am presuming by your comment that your education ended at the high school level, because Glenn Beck's show is rife with fallacies, in the literal sense. Seriously, print out a list of the commonly recognized ethical fallacies and watch Glenn as he rolls through several of them per show.

      July 22, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
  24. aatami

    I hope it's painful.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. LeeVA

    Wow, look at all the bad Karma on here. And how fast the posts are coming. Never wish ill on someone, it may just come back on you.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ContradictMuch?

    I love reading comments that liberals post on articles like this. They blast conservatives for personal attacks and how low it is to do that... but almost ALL the comments for this article are personal attacks on Glen Beck, people who watch his show, and conservatives in general. I keep reading that conservatives offer no solutions to problems either... I wonder who reallly is going blind.... Glen Beck or liberals? Either way, I pray for everyone affected by macular dystrophy. Sounds like a horrible disease.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. sparky

    Eye disorder? He took a moneyshot in it

    July 22, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Progressive Pie

    Oh, if only he could go mute, too!

    July 22, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. TJ

    Now there's the pot calling the kettle black.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Grant H

    After reading through these posts about a man losing his vision, I fully realize we are in the midst of a non-shooting civil war in this country. To read the hate being spewed by the so called progressives makes me sad for them.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dezimom

      You got it right, Grant. thanks.

      July 22, 2010 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
  31. naco

    Finally I can be sympathetic about Glenn Beck. I always thought the guy must be blind or at least could not see straight. Now I know that it isn't his fault tha his views are so distroted.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sparticus

    My dad has macular degeneration. It's not something I'd like anyone to have, even someone who makes a living by lying in order to creates discord at the expense of the nation. That said, I should also point out when my dad got, he didn't cry like a baby. Glenn Beck is the biggest pussy I've ever seen.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Chris M from Los Angeles

    Why would liberals get tired of picking on Glenn Beck? He routinely villanizes liberals and calls them NAZI's or Maoists. I'd say this is karma.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. JimmyJames

    will you greedy,racist,old,conservative crust-bags hurry up and die, already?

    July 22, 2010 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. branson

    Unfortunately, even with broken eyes, he can still cry and get ratings and money. Why couldn't he
    get cancer of the mouth? That would shut him up.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jason

    I'm not worried about his eyes, it's what is between his ears that scares me.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Moses

    Wow, blindness, now thats biblical...LOL.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. tman

    white supremacist bastard. don't you worry Glenn, nothing happens with bad people.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Harley

    Maybe there is a god, after all.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tom

    I don't agree with Beck's politics, but I wish him well with his eyes.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Rose Garden

    It's obvious that at the end of each Fox News Show, Glenn goes back to his private room and jerks off.
    That's why he's going blind. Success breeds strange behavior. Go Glenn Beck!!

    July 22, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Roscoe

    He needs a second opinion.....his only problem is it's tough to see out of your own rectum.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LeeVA

    Isn't that what Satan said about Jesus? Hmm. Nice league you're in. Cheers.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. NKent

    Mom always said if you lie you will go blind!

    July 22, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. seriously??

    I really dislike this guy and everything he stands for but it is really sad to see this happen to anyone, however....Beck says: "

    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.”

    1) wtf does the "lord" need your eyes for? is it part of his master plan to make you go blind? I don't understand how this doesn't challenge your religious beliefs Beck.

    2) I hope you get off the air. soon.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      Another soul who doesn't 'get it'. Perhaps you never will.

      July 22, 2010 at 03:01 | Report abuse |
  46. Kahuna

    Obviously, the Lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe payback for all the Beck lies?

    July 22, 2010 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LeeVA

      And how many lies have you told, Kahuna? Perhaps God will get back at you for every little lie you've told - all of them. Just kidding. God doesn't operate that way. Be glad He doesn't.

      July 22, 2010 at 03:04 | Report abuse |
    • Danny Boy

      LeeVA – Funny how YOU know how God operates and preaching it to someone else. "he doesn't operate that way" How the eff do you know how God operates? YOU...out of millions of years and billions of people know exactly how God operates? Wow. You should really feel special compared to the rest of us. Let me guess...you watch Glenn Beck? YOU are the sheep.

      July 22, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
  47. LeeVA

    Hate filled rants for outing people who would completely destroy our country? None of you vicious, blind-wishing critics probably have ever watched Glenn Beck's show a day in your own life. If you had, you would be concerned and very concerned. But that's ok, life as you have known it is soon going to come to a full and complete stop if something doesn't give soon.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. BUTCH123

    wow. lots of nice people here.-gotta get political i suppose. Glenn Beck is the best investigative journalist in the country! now i say this as an atheist with many liberal inclinations who voted for obama–so back off libtard ranters and listen to me. this is very important. what this guy has done in the last year and a half is nothing short of amazing and important to our republic, our future and our freedom. i don't agree with him all the time, in fact i disagree more often than not, but he asks the questions nobody else does and has single handedly struck mighty blows to the leftist/socialist/progressive/media elites who are trying to turn this country into a totalitarian state and who are just as DANGEROUS (actually more so) than anything bush/cheney threw at us. this guy is a treasure.-so i wish you well beck. even if you lose your sight you will still see more than most.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. CarolinaWiccan

    I am no fan of Glenn Beck's by any stretch of the imagination. But for people to get on here and actually seem happy that he is going blind is just disgusting. This is not something that should be wished on anyone. I don't care what you think of them or there politics. You just don't do it.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Giorgio

    I'm wondering how folks writing harsh comments here would cope with a diagnosis to go blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
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