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Ashton Kutcher Says Vasculitis Scare Left Him Unable to See or Hear

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Ashton Kutcher has spoken out about a health scare that left him feeling “lucky to be alive.” The 44-year-old actor shared the details of his condition in an unreleased episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, a sneak peek of which was shared by Access Hollywood.

In the clip, Kutcher and Grylls are walking through the woods when Grylls asks the That ‘70s Show star where his strength comes from. “I had this weird, super-rare form of vasculitis that knocked out my vision, knocked out my hearing, and knocked out all my equilibrium,” Kutcher says. “It took me a year to build it all back up.”

He then reflected on what the ordeal taught him: “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.’…I’m lucky to be alive.”

There are different types of vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). In an autoimmune disorder, your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy parts of the body; in the case of vasculitis, the body targets the blood vessels, sometimes due to an infection, a medication response, or another condition, but often the cause isn’t fully known or understood.

When the blood vessels become inflamed and swollen, the arteries, veins, and capillaries—which transport blood throughout the body—are also affected. This swelling can lead to restricted blood flow, which can potentially cause tissue and organ damage. Symptoms of most types of vasculitis include general body aches and pains, fever, fatigue, headache, and weight loss. Since some types of vasculitis can progress quickly, early diagnosis is crucial to getting effective treatment.

Most types of vasculitis require medication to control inflammation and prevent future flare-ups. The amount of time it takes for symptoms to develop and fade varies, per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); flare-ups can be a short-term health problem or long-lasting.

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On Monday, Kutcher tweeted that he has made a full recovery: “Before there are a bunch of rumors/ chatter/ whatever out there. Yes, I had a rare vasculitis episode 3 [years] ago…I had some impairments hear, vision, balance issues right after. I fully recovered. All good. Moving on.”

He also told Grylls the experience gave him a renewed perspective on life. “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?” he said. “You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”

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Source: Self

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