Ashton Kutcher was unable to see, hear or walk after a rare disease
Following his encounter with a rare ailment that impacted his ability to see, hear, and move, Ashton Kutcher claimed he is “lucky to be alive”
During an appearance on Monday’s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” Kutcher discusses his battle with vasculitis, an inflammatory disease of the blood vessels.
First revealed by “Access Hollywood,” a video from the interview showed Kutcher describing how the sickness has affected him.
During the show, Grylls inquires about Kutcher’s source of his power. Kutcher says: “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.”
Grylls learns from Kutcher that it took him a year to restore his abilities after losing them.
He adds, “You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone, until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to see again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to hear again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to walk again,'”
Vasculitis is a group of disorders that affect the blood vessels and are extremely rare. Dr. Peter Merkel, the chief of rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says there are between 15 and 20 different forms of vasculitis.
Both Kutcher and Grylls could not be reached for comment by NBC News on Monday regarding the sort of vasculitis they had.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of vasculitis include fever, weight loss, and pains. Symptoms that are more severe, such as loss of hearing or vision or the appearance of sores or ulcers on the skin, can also be caused by the condition.
German-born Merkel, who heads up the Penn Vasculitis Center, explained that visual impairment in patients with the illness can come from inflammation of the main artery leading to the eye as well as inflammation of smaller blood vessels that are near the eye. Hearing loss can also be caused by ear canal infection or nerve injury.
Although joint damage is certainly a possibility, Merkel believes that Kutcher’s incapacity to walk indicates some neurological damage.
Vasculitis symptoms can endure for weeks or months, depending on the severity.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained that nerve injury can take months to heal since the nerves must rebuild and that process takes time. Some of the damage is irreparable, which is a sad reality.
According to the Mayo Clinic, anyone might develop vasculitis for unknown reasons. Some types of vasculitis can be brought on by factors such as old age, drug usage, a family history, and immune system abnormalities.
If left untreated, it might result in death. More than 7,800 persons died as a result of vasculitis-related causes between 1999 and 2010.
The type of vasculitis and the organs that are affected determine the treatment. Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are one alternative. Immune-suppressing medications are also prescribed.
Grylls urges Kutcher, “Talk about strength through adversity,” in the interview.
“Lucky to be alive,” Kutcher replys “The minute you start seeing your obstacles as things that are made for you, to give you what you need, then life starts to get fun, right? You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”