Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher lost sight, sense of hearing and the ability to walk for almost a year after he was diagnosed with Vasculitis, an autoimmune disorder.
The 44-year-old actor opened up about a rare medical disorder he developed, during an exclusive look at an upcoming episode of National Geographic‘s Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge.
In the clip, Kutcher said, “Like two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis that like knocked out my vision, it knocked out my hearing, it knocked out like all my equilibrium.”
“It took me like a year to build it all back up. You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone,” he added.
What Is Vasculitis
Vasculitis is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to inflamed blood cells and damaged organs and tissues. According to Mayo Clinic, vasculitis is rare and there are various types.
They can affect small, medium-sized, and large blood vessels, but, in the case of Ashton Kutcher, he did not specify which type of vasculitis he had been diagnosed with.
The underlying causes and impacts of vasculitis
Due to inflammation of blood vessels, the flow of blood throughout the body tends to slow or be completely obstructed causing nearby tissues to die or vessels to rupture, resulting in internal bleeding. The causes of these conditions can vary.
According to Mayo Clinic, an individual may suffer from a bacterial or viral infection in their blood vessel walls, which causes white blood cells to damage the walls as it wards off the illness.
Such infections may include hepatitis B and hepatitis C, but, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, allergic reactions or hypersensitivity to medications, drugs, or toxins can cause other forms of vasculitis.
Symptoms vary depending on which type of blood vessels and which part of the body have been affected.
Giant cell arteritis, for example, which is a type of vasculitis, typically impacts arteries near the temples, causing vision loss, severe headaches, and unintended weight loss but this generally affects those over fifty, according to Mayo Clinic.
Various types of people may be prone to vasculitis, and each type of vasculitis has different types of risk factors, but smoking and cocaine use may increase the risk of certain types.