Michael J Kutryb, MD  

Specialties: Ophthalmology, Cataract Surgery, glaucoma

Interests: Ophthalmology
Kutryb Eye Institute - Titusville
Titusville, FL
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Glenn Beck's Macular Dystrophy Serious but Unlikely to Cause Blindness

Jul 20, 2010 - 14 comments

macular dystrophy


glenn beck






Corneal transplant


corneal transplantation

Popular radio and television personality Glenn Beck yesterday announced that he could go blind from macular dystrophy, possibly even within the next year.  Macular dystrophy of the cornea is a rare, recessively inherited disorder of the cornea, the clear, focusing window to the eye.  It causes grayish-white opacities that can occur across the entire cornea.  The problem can begin as early as age 10 but generally worsens between the ages of 20 and 40.  As you can imagine the vision can be severely affected and in the very worst cases it can lead to complete loss of useful vision.  There are no medications to remove the cloudy areas and laser treatment would only be able to vaporize very surperficial lesions, leaving all the deeper cloudy areas untouched.

The good news is that the most severe cases can be treated with full-thickness corneal transplantation with a very high success rate.  Thank God for the many talented fellowship-trained corneal specialist ophthalmologists across this great country (and all the organ donors also!)  For now, I am sure that Glenn is probably having difficulty with his reading and possibly night driving.  The real problem is that the mild to moderate cases will cause lots of aggrevation and blurriness but may not get to the severity where transplantation is recommended.  It's kind of like having a bad heart and you get short of breath and feel weak and tired but you're getting by and you're not bad enough to go through the rigors and long recovery of an actual heart transplant.  For Glenn Beck, at some point down the road, his problem might get bad enough that corneal transplantation could be considered.  At present, I pray that his problem remains stable and he can retain reasonably good vision.

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by JBG5162, Jul 21, 2010
Leave it to MedHelp to be on top of the latest medical topics!  I went to Google, typed in  Ask a doctor about Glenn Beck's macular dystrophy" and this blog popped up in first place.

Thanks for filling us in on what macular dystrophy is and that it is not necessarily going to cause blindness.

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by margypops, Jul 22, 2010
I beg to differ My Brother has this he lives in England and he is going blind,he was diagnosed many years ago and it is  getting worse he cannot see more than a blur now and they still say there is no treatment .. he was told he had  Macular Dystrophy, he has had opinions from Opthamoligists in Harley Street London ...I have no doubt that Glenn Becks Opthamologist told him the truth...

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by margypops, Jul 22, 2010
It is possible I expect, that there are varying stages ...possibly Glenn's has progressed like my brother .

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by Michael J Kutryb, MDBlank, Jul 22, 2010
Unfortunately, there are two conditions:  One called Best Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy or Best Vitelliform Foveomacular Dystrophy of the retina which can be quite severe and really has no effective treatment (I've seen several cases) and Macular Dystrophy of the cornea which is very rare and generally less severe and is treatable with corneal transplantation in severe cases.  I took his words literally and assumed he had macular dystrophy of the cornea since he did not mention the entire name of Bests Vitelliform Macular Dystrophy.  After reading other blogs and CNN etc it could be that he actually has Vitelliform Macular Dystrophty.  

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by margypops, Jul 24, 2010
When my brother was a child they told my parents he had Retinitas Pigmentosa..it seems to have progressed on from that to Macular dystrophy or perhaps it is the other one you mention .he still has some vision,but is a registered blind person now. They have always told him it came from my mom having diabetes when she was expecting him .,he also had to have a diseased kidney removed when a young teen ..maybe another connection to the diabetes .So it is possible that Glenn's is the worse one of the two if he has been told he will go blind ...

Avatar universal
by David52, Jul 25, 2010
Lets pray that Glenn Beck is saved from deteriorating eyesight AND from his severey judgemental and racist mindset. Unfortunately he is man who has spread a lot of hatred in America - quite the opposite of what the Lord Jesus came to teach us to do - to spread love.

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by onthefence, Jul 25, 2010
you are doing the same thing that you are accusing Glenn Beck of doing, being judgemental, also he is FAR from being a racist, or even a separtist.

Avatar universal
by Barbarella, Jul 25, 2010

You are getting off the subject of Beck's eye disease.  Having said that its obvious that you never watched Glenn Beck's show or you would know how often he talks/talked about black people who make/made a difference to this country.  Going all the way back to the days of George Washington.  If you'd watch his show you'd knoe how often Beck has an entire black audience on his set to discuss these issues, to praise these black people from the past as in Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Jr., and there is a long list of others.

You want to "pray" for Beck?  I suggest you pray for YOURSELF to be not so judgmental about something you have no clue about, and accusing Beck of a "racist mindset".

Beck criticizes BOTH white AND black, if need be.  If you ever watched him you'd know that he DOES do his homework, and does BACK up what he is saying.

Of course if he criticizes a black person, especially Obama he then has a "racist mindst" right??  Give me a break!
Of course there are people who never watched him, and only listen to others and their opinions.

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by margypops, Jul 25, 2010
David52      Most information Glenn  beck has given us is actually happening ..you are the racist,the one who has spread hatred is Obama  ..get your facts straight and this thread is about eyesight not  who is racist or not ,

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by peggy64, Jul 25, 2010
What barbarella said X two!

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by peggy64, Jul 25, 2010
David, It is obvious you have never watched his program, just listened to biased reports.

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by Heather3418, Jul 27, 2010
It's a shame that his discussion has turned in an attack against the person, instead of the disease the good doctor is trying to explain to us.  Forget about who Glenn Beck is and please just concentrate on the information that is being offered about his eye disease.

It's not fair to Dr. Kutryb to turn his blog into a thread, where we argue about Glenn Beck, the person.

Avatar universal
by squeaky829, Oct 09, 2010
Glenn Beck is an angel....he is the voice of logic and reason..my husband and I watch him everyday and he always leaves us with a sense of pride for our country and challenges us to make positive changes in our lives....when he talks you can feel the passion and sincerity in everything he believes....if there were more people like him in the world it would definitely be a better place.....Glenn we love you.....and our prayers and wishes for your health and strength are sent to God every night.......Thank You!!!!!!!!

Avatar universal
by ASHBETH0525, Oct 15, 2010
What Barberella said times infinity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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