Ashton Kutcher on stage holding microphone

Ashton Kutcher is “Lucky to Be Alive” After Rare Vasculitis Diagnosis

The disease took his ability to see, hear, and walk for over a year.

Ashton Kutcher quietly recovered from a rare autoimmune disorder that took away his ability to see, hear, and walk for close to a year. And who better to open up to than famous natureman Bear Grylls.

In a recent episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge”, the 44-year old actor talked about his vasculitis diagnosis as he and Grylls trek through the woods.

“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,” Kutcher said.

“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,’” says Kutcher.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he adds.

What is Vasculitis?

Vasculitis is inflammation of your blood vessels which causes swelling that reduces blood flow to your tissues and organs. There are 15 to 20 types of vasculitis, but Kutcher did not disclose what he had.

The rare condition affects men and women of all ages but experts aren’t sure exactly what causes it.

One theory: As with most autoimmune diseases, your immune system, which keeps you healthy, actually attacks your body. With vasculitis, your body attacks veins, arteries, and capillaries, but doctors don’t fully know what triggers this reaction. Symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, and abdominal pain. In worse cases, your organs, tissues, and nerves may be damaged.

Vasculitis Treatment

If you come down with vasculitis, your doctor will likely prescribe a corticosteroid drug, to treat the inflammation. In more severe cases, you may need surgery to restore blood flow to a restricted area.

Kutcher’s treatment is unknown but the former That ‘70s Show star has a new perspective on life after his ordeal.

“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,” Kutcher says. “You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”