Vasculitis: The Disorder That Knocked Out Ashton Kutcher’s Vision

A few years ago, Ashton Kutcher said he feared he would never see, hear, or be able to walk again due to vasculitis.

During an exclusive clip from National Geographic’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” Kutcher told Grylls, “Like two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis, which knocked out my vision, my hearing, my equilibrium.”

In addition to taking roughly a year to recover, the 44-year-old actor considers himself “lucky to be alive.”

Vasculitis: What Is It?

The Mayo Clinic describes the vascular disease as “inflammation of blood vessels.” The inflammation causes thickening blood vessel walls, restricted blood flow, and organ damage.

Multiple kinds of vasculitis can affect various organs in the body. Variables such as type of vasculitis and individual health concerns can lengthen or shorten the condition.

What Types Of Vasculitis Exist?

The Mayo Clinic lists the following types of vasculitis:

  • Behcet’s disease
  • Buerger’s disease
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Giant cell arteritis and many more

Symptoms Of Vasculitis

According to the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center, the symptoms of vasculitis depend on the affected blood vessels. Some vasculitis patients experience:

  • Fevers
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • A rapid pulse
  • There may be pain from skin ulcers and insufficient blood flow.

Patients may also experience skin rashes, dark urine, coughs, or shortness of breath.

Vasculitis: What Causes It?

Mayo Clinic says the cause of different kinds of vasculitis is unknown. Many triggers include infections, blood cancers, and immune system diseases like lupus. Genetics may play a role in some types, while the immune system may attack blood vessel cells in others.

Vasculitis can affect anyone. Among the most common are those that affect people over 50, while others affect children under 5.

Vasculitis: How Is It Treated?

Vasculitis is different from other diseases. It may be necessary to give corticosteroids or immune-suppressing medications to patients.

Patients with vasculitis may need surgery if their arteries become blocked.