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. TT

    OH NO!!!! How will he continue to be a racist if he can't see?

    July 22, 2010 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. dave

    Boy who cried wolf, this numskull is insane, isn't this the same guy who said something like "God wants me to lead, do something very important." Please, nothing will happen, watch.

    "Lord, if you need my eyes, they're yours. They were yours the whole time anyway," why would God need Beck's crappy eyes anyway, I am sure God has a slightly better pair as is.

    July 22, 2010 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jay12

    I can't even believe what I'm reading here. Conservative, Liberal...You really should all be ashamed of your cowardice. Sitting behind your computer saying these awful, inhuman things about Glenn Beck. How is this making you any better than you think he is? Nancy Pelosi faked a good crying session too...if she was going blind would it be different if Conservatives on here made the same attacks? Of course not. Thanks for being such decent human beings guys, really.

    July 22, 2010 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jay12

    You people are really insulting to the human race. You realize making fun of Glenn Beck in this situation as if he deserves it makes you way worse than you think he is? Who would I rather hang out with? A guy I disagree with? Or someone who hides behind their computer while making fun of, and seemingly thrilled about, the ills of others? You people are simply disgusting.

    July 22, 2010 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Evan

    Beck is already blind through his religious faith. Now he will be physically blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 04:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dr Twister

    I though his eye disorder was that he only sees what he wants to see, and was just blind to the truth!

    July 22, 2010 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. El_Jefecito

    A sob story being milked for all it is worth. Sad if he has this condition but he is clearly milking it with this "if the lord needs my eyes" crap. The reality of Glen Beck is that he spreads a lot of misinformation with just a twist of factual events to draw divisions between people to advance his radical agenda. The popularity of people like him is a threat to America – he breeds discontent, fear, and hatred.

    July 22, 2010 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Myra

    Why would God want Glenn Beck's eyes?

    July 22, 2010 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken

      Finally – I found some intelligence here. Only fools say things like "Lord, if you need my eyes, they're yours". By the way – I am a Buddhist – if you can tell.

      July 22, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
  9. gary

    Go blind you a-hole

    July 22, 2010 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Zephyr

    It is unfortunate that he may literally be going blind; I hope it does not happen. However, figuratively, he has been blind for years.

    July 22, 2010 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Carol

    You can get book tapes, they are wonderful. I use them when I walk. Don't worry Glenn you can stay informed on the topics you like for the rest of you life, remember you have always found a way to achieve not that I am making lite of what is happening to you but it will not stop you and you will do it again. Good Luck

    July 22, 2010 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mike

    Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

    Learn to live together fools, you need to get busy doing something for yourselves rather than fighting amongst each other. All this crap is destructive and has no positive outcome, it just make you all fight amongst yourselves.

    There are those who want to feed you and those who want to rape you of your rights, wealth, and dignity. You are all Americans, all of you. You have the power to rule Washington. Get off your butts and vote to have your say. You cannot play the victim all your life.

    Do It!!!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Level-headed

    Hasn't he been blind for a long time? Because as far as I can tell he has.............

    July 22, 2010 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ron

    The saying is ture, "There are none so blind as those who will not see." Beck has done more in the past year to expose the left wing, desstroying people and policies of this administration than anyone in the whole of the USA. Of course, the liberal left wants to get rid of him or redicule him. He is exposing the truth of their destructive ideas and tactics that will ultimately destroy our country. It is clear to see that this administration has literally done nothing to enhance our well being. But beware, those of you who refuse to see. There will come a day when you will fall under their power and then maybe you will wish you had opened your eyes to the truth that thhese left wing persons care nothing for you.

    July 22, 2010 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Erut

    If Glenn Beck would stop it, maybe he wouldn't go blind

    July 22, 2010 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Alex

    His belief is punishing him. Inciting fears without seeing fear...such punishment will suffice.

    July 22, 2010 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. VA Teacher

    It is amazing to me that those learning to the left are stating that conservatives are hate mongerers, while they are spewing such hatred and vitriole on these posts. I may not always agree with someone, but I do respect one's right to one's opinion. There doesn't need to be hatred, or foul language, or name-calling. And Average American did have some valid points...focus on the fact that we are Americans, and stop with the anger.

    July 22, 2010 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 4Hypatia

      I hope you are not really a teacher, because the word is spelled "v-i-t-r-i-o-l"... vitriol.

      July 22, 2010 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
  18. Trudie Hayes

    Shouldn't we be asking, what is his mental disorder???

    July 22, 2010 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. leonard

    Hey Beck!....Justice is blind too...maybe you'll see things differently.

    July 22, 2010 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. bwrobinson

    I know this guy is a loser, a nut, and a fake....but I know how frightening it can be to be told you are losing your eye sight...if he's telling the truth, I feel for him

    July 22, 2010 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. China Mart

    I am a conservative, but this man is the most bigoted hate-filled person who bases all of his views on fear! I have never liked Glenn Beck nor his views. As a conservative, he is an embarrasment.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark13

      A few examples, please? Most of what he does is play audio and videoclips of the the folks he's commenting on. Or exposing their writings. I respectfully suggest that Americans who love what this country has been should be concerned with what it is becoming. And that is the fault of both parties and all of us that just stand by and watch our Constitution being gutted. Glenn Beck is usually right on as far as the facts he reports on and he is the first to admit when he gets it wrong. Honest people can argue about his analysis, but he is on the right track and that is dangerous to the powers that be who rely on darkness, apathy, and ignorance.

      July 23, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
  22. 4Hypatia

    I am a liberal, and I think Glenn Beck engages in sensationalist hate-mongering, but I wish him the best of health as a fellow human being.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark13

      A few examples of hate, please?

      July 23, 2010 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
  23. Lou

    This has been great to read! One liberal/Progressive/moon bat hater after another...wow, you dont even see when your set up. Keep it coming...blame him for spreading "hate"<the new "your a racist" (any idea that opposes liberals). You guys and gals....you couldn't make this madness up if you tried.

    Thanks for showing us all where true evil/hate lies.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mockingjay

      "You're" welcome.

      July 22, 2010 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
  24. lee

    Osama Glenn Beckin suffers most from intellectual myopia – for which there seems to be no cure. He's already blind.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Mockingjay

    Beck is clown, but there is no need to revel in his misfortune. That is the kind of thing a conservative would do, don't stoop to their level. They have been dragging discourse down for the last decade, don't go along for the ride.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. lee

    Osama Glenn Becken is already blind. He "suffers" from intellectual dystrophy – for which there is no cure.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Bubba

    Imagine for a moment that this was happening to Nancy Pelosi, and Beck was commenting about it. He'd say God was striking her down and taking away the eyesight that she used to oppress innocent conservative babies, an unmistakable message for her to change her way of living and repent or burn forever in a lake of fire. He'd say there was absolutely no doubt that God was behind this appropriate punishment. And then he'd cry.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carla

      @@...lol...you READ my mind!

      July 22, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
  28. TGD

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury."

    "From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."

    "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."

    "Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage. "

    [Original source debated]

    July 22, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Keith

    I have never seen the hstred spewed by liberals on here coming from Conservatives. And I dont recall liberals complaining when pictures of Bush as Hitler were displayed. And I do remember liberals taking out a full page ad in the NY Times referring to Bushs General leading the fight in Iraq as General BETRAY-US. They wouldnt dare do that now that Obama has appointed him to lead the Afghan war.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark13

      Try reading these venomous posts to yourself and imagine the voice that Glenn uses when he does his "Arguing With Idiots" routine. Hilarious, and as usual, right on point.

      July 23, 2010 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  30. Carla

    Misdiagnosis...obviously a case of recto-cranio inversion...which explains his shitty outlook on most everything.

    Look at the BRIGHT side Glenn, you've been blind for a long time. Now you won't ever have to see a gay couple...or Persident Obama...of any of the other people you have labeled as Nazis...EVER Again.

    Hard to drum up sympathy for such a piece of work. Rush Limbaugh's brush with the inability to speak.
    Glenn Beck is going blind.
    And you folks STILL don't believe in Karma?

    July 22, 2010 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Now What?

    Can't say I'm surprised to read the hateful and ignorant comments on the communist news network message board. So much for liberals being kind, compassionate, tolerant and accepting. Liberal hypocrisy at it's finest.

    July 22, 2010 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. jojo

    bill Gilman BRAVO Thank you. You're a great man who speaks the truth. 8 years of the morals and values people now showing their true colors.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sanford's Soulmate

    Deaf, Dumb and Blind.....



    July 22, 2010 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. jojo

    ...now we know what he does in his spare time hahaha ...couldn't resist!!!

    July 22, 2010 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Muffy7

    Can anyone say Lee Atwater??? Do you think this is what Beck would do? I do not/

    July 22, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. JoseF

    The man was born blind. maybe actualy losing his eyesight , will make him see the light, and stop his racist rants.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. GoldMember

    Glenn Beck preys on the weak minded and the uneducated.
    Glenn Beck is a piece of trash passed as a human being, he is divisive, hateful, a snake charmer, and ultimately,it is all driven by money, yes, it is all about the Benjamins.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Ezra

    I have learned a lot about history and political science while watching Glenn Beck. I was never taught those lessons in public schools. If it did not have a progressive liberal agenda attached, that course was omitted. For example, conservative speakers are attacked when they are asked to come and speak at colleges. One recently was denied by the school to come and speak by the university. Yes liberals sure do protect freedom of speech–yeah right! Of course you did not read about this or see it on tv because it probably was blacked out by the progressive media. You liberals can post lies on CNN blogs and I will read them. It just re-enforces my belief you are socialist and you do not want a representative republiic but a socialist gov like cuba. One day you will be defeated in the polls or in the streets. CNN, NBC, ABC, and other cable news will fall to the internet and we all know the internet can not be trusted.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Chris M

    Glenn's doctor has said he may go blind, or he may not. What are the odds? The odds are higher he will get killed in a car wreck, or struck by lightning, or say something incredibly stupid. My prediction. This is part of the setup for 8/28. After the 40 day run up, ("GLENNT") Glenn will deliver the "Sermon On The Steps," lay hands on himself and cure his blindness. He will then proclaim himself the true Messiah, and declare himself as a religion for tax purposes.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. monah

    Wow, an atricle on macular dystrophy turns into a political forum simply because Beck is mentioned in the article.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. SCOTO

    Again with the crying. Only in America would this obscene clown with his histrionics and schmaltz be anything else but a bar room bore. I detest this man not because I'm a "lefty" (which I'm not) . He disgusts me with his constant irresponsible flinging around loaded words like "Nazi" or "Stalinist" which not only inflame some of the dopes in our society but which trivializes the reality of history and the suffering that occurred under these regimes. That soft pudgy face of his has never seen anything even approaching what real Nazis can do. If that sound harsh to all you Beck fans out there who listen to this garbage then too bad.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. monah

    Wow, an article on macular dysrtrophy turns into a political forum simply because Beck is mentioned.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • monah

      The amount of hate being spewed about Beck is disturbing. I'm not a Beck fan and in fact I like to refer to him as "Whinny Butt Beck" but come on people, get a grip, the man is dealing with a serious disease. You don't have to like him or his politics but use another forum to attack him personally.

      July 22, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
  43. Dean

    Thank God for liberals ! It is liberals who passed legislation that will ensure some greedy health insurance executive can no longer forbid Mr. Beck treatment due to a pre-existing condition. It is the liberals who passed legislation that ensures Mr. Beck will continue to have access to public facilities through the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is liberals who have invested in American excellence in science and health research at public universities that ensures the very best medical treatments are available to Mr Beck, and others like him. Thank God for the liberals who actually listen to what Jesus said, and take care of the poor, and infirm, and the needy. Thank God that while conservatives preach selfishness, there are still liberals who preach the true words of Christ, to love your neighbor, to give to the poor, to care and look after even those in prison. Read Matthew 25:31-46. This IS the word of the LORD. Thank GOD for liberals !

    July 22, 2010 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark13

      Thank God for liberals? Thank God for anyone who hears his Word and follows His commandments to love thy neighbor as thyself. I don't see alot of love oozing from the liberals on this page. I read Matt. 25, 31-46 and I agree with it. I don't see where Jesus commands us to give all of our power and money to a giant centralized government to be redistributed as a few ruling elites see fit. As a liberal, you are siding with the goats talked about in that same passage. With the progressives, socialists, and communists that deny God and hate His Word. Communism is pure evil and a lie. There is no group salvation as taught by false teachers like Jeremiah Wright, Jim Wallis, etc. Christ commands us to individually take care of the sick, the stranger, the hungry, the thirsty, etc. And it is not just about stuff. That is another lie from those that the liberals commune with. Be careful where you get your sermons from. Even Satan can quote scripture, he just gives it a subtle twist. An evil tree can only bear evil fruit. My Father knows His children and what is in their hearts. I pray that I am counted with the sheep. Test the spirit of those you align yourself with. Read the whole Bible, in context. Remember 1 John 4:3. God will not be mocked. We will have the victory through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

      July 23, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
  44. stan

    Its a sign from GOD ! GOD HATES GLENN and thus is going to make him go blind....

    July 22, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Lukas

    It is terrible to have a such a thing happen to anyone. For those who call Beck a hack or a phony.. I find that funny because of the various sources and legitimate proof he provides to back up his allegations. He doesn't just come on TV and start blabbing (like some), the guy does his homework. I will say he can be very over dramatic, but besides that, I do feel bad for him. Let's all hope that this problem isn't as serious as the doc says. When I was 17 (now 25) I received a bacterial infection from when I scratched my eye, and it was breaking down my eye's curviture. It's scary watching your vision degenerate weekly. I saw an eye doc, he set up almost daily meetings to monitor, and about a year later the bacteria was gone, and my vision was back to how it was...Let's hope the same for Glenn...

    Good thing it happened now if anything, because, come 2014, our new healthcare system may elimiinate the freedom to find yourown specialist and recieve amazing treatment (since most everyone on here are expressing their political view, I had to add mine)


    July 22, 2010 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. gw

    I'm sure Beck will come up some biblical explanation for his illness. Maybe something from Job.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. elliot

    Thoughts are with GB and his family. I wish him the best in his fight and hope that he is able to beat this disease.

    I loathe his politics and many of the comments he makes (i.e. Obama is a racist, etc), but I still badly for him as a fellow father, husband, and human being.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jerry

    In the words of Pat Robertson, this is gods punishment for Mr. Beck's sins. Glenn could not open his eyes to the truth of his sins, so god will "close" Glenn's eyes forever.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Ezra

    Well it seems I should stop attempting to post here because my comments are not progressive liberal enought for the cnn terms of service. That is ok, I have become accustomed of cnn censoring different opinions and beliefs.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. SensibleAmerican

    I don't agree with most of the things this man says, but a disease like this is always terrible no matter who it afflicts, and I wish the best for him and his family as he goes on to deal with this affliction.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
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