What is vasculitis, Ashton Kutcher’s condition that affects vision, hearing

  • Actor Ashton Kutcher said he contracted a condition called vasculitis about three years ago.
  • The condition is caused by the body attacking its own veins, making it harder for blood to flow.
  • He feared he would not be able to speak, hear or walk again, but is now fully recovered, he said.

Actor Ashton Kutcher said he feared he would lose his hearing, sight and ability to walk due to a condition called vasculitis.

The actor opened up about his vasculitis for the first time on “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” according to a preview shared by Access Hollywood.

The condition “knocked out my vision, it knocked out my hearing, it knocked out like all my balance,” Kutcher told Grylls, according to the preview.

Although he has made a full recovery, the actor said he felt “lucky to be alive” in footage from the show.

Here’s what we know about vasculitis.

It is an inflammation of the blood vessels

An illustration shows blood cells floating in the blood.

An illustration of cells in the blood.

ismagilov/iStock/Getty Images

Vasculitis is a term that means that the body’s blood vessels are inflamed, according to NORD, a patient association with rare diseases.

It can cause swelling, narrowing, weakening or scarring of the vessels.

Because the blood is unable to flow properly, it can cause blood clots, organ failure and even aneurysms in the most life-threatening cases, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

Vasculitis causes the body to attack itself

Vasculitis occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking its own blood vessels by mistake. There are many conditions that can cause vasculitis, and it’s not clear what caused Kutcher’s.

In some cases, it can be triggered by a bad reaction to certain infectious diseases or allergies to medicines. In others, it will be linked to an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

“All forms of vasculitis are rare and each has its own challenges.” The Vasculitis Foundation said, commenting on Kutcher’s diagnosis.

Symptoms may include pain, diarrhea and bloody urine

Symptoms of vasculitis vary greatly depending on which blood vessels are affected. They range from muscle and joint pain, fever, fatigue and weight loss, to wounds, skin lesions, diarrhoea, bloody urine and more, per NORD.

Doctors will rule out more likely causes of these symptoms before ordering diagnostic tests to detect vasculitis, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

Vasculitis is often mild, but it can also be serious and life-threatening, according to the Vasculitis Foundation. Many will recover on their own and the condition will be short-lived, but relapse is also common, according to the foundation.

Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to treat the condition.

Kutcher has made a full recovery

In a tweet commenting on the Access Hollywood previewKutcher said the flare-up happened three years ago and that he has since been “perfectly healthy.”

He said he will run the New York Marathon later this year for Thorn, a nonprofit he co-founded to fight child sexual exploitation.

“All good. Moving on. See you at the 2022 NY Marathon with Thorn,” he said in a tweet

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