Ashton Kutcher has revealed that he is ‘lucky to be alive’ after suffering from a rare autoimmune disorder that left him unable to hear, see or walk.
The 44-year-old actor spoke about the condition that upended his life in a sneak peek of an upcoming episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, on which he detailed the horrific symptoms he suffered from as a result of his autoimmune disorder.
‘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,’ he said in the clip, which was shared by Access Hollywood.
‘It took me like a year to build it all back up.’
According to the Mayo Clinic, vasculitis involves the inflammation of the blood vessels causing the walls to thicken, reducing the width of the passageway through the vessel.
Healthy: The That 90s Show star looked healthy as he visited the beach in Santa Barbara, CA over the weekend. He said it took him a year to build his strength back after being debilitated by vasculitis
Support: The star was seen with out at the beach with his wife Mila Kunis
If blood flow is restricted, organ and tissue damage can occur. There are many types of vasculitis, and most of them are rare.
According to Kutcher, his harrowing experience with vasculitis, though scary, gave him a new-found appreciation for his health and his senses, explaining that he hadn’t ever truly realized how essential they were, until he lost them.
‘You don’t really appreciate it, until it’s gone,’ admitted the human rights activist.
‘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.”‘
He added that he is ‘lucky to be alive’.
The actor revealed that it took him a year to build up his strength, prompting Grylls to praise his ‘strength through adversity’.
Athletic skills: The Stoner Cats star showed off his athletic skills in a friendly game of beach football with wife Mila Kunis
Score: The game got pretty intense as the former assistant high school football coach was seen lying on the sand while triumphantly raising the ball in the air to prove he’d made a difficult catch
The condition that could have cost Ashton Kutcher his sight: What is vasculitis and how is it treated?
- Vasculitis, also sometimes referred to as angiitis or arteritis, are conditions that cause a person’s blood vessels to become inflamed
- Nearly 230,000 Americans suffer from some form of vasculitis
- There are a few potential causes, including an auto-immune condition, allergic reactions or an infection of some kind
- Types of vasculitis are split into three categories, large, medium and small. The distinction is based on the size of vessels that have become inflamed
- Typical symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle pain and severe weight loss
- In most severe cases it can cause an aneurysm, or even the bursting of a blood vessel. Either case can prove to be deadly
- It can also lead to tissue death if a vessel becomes so inflamed that it blocks to flow of blood to a part of the body
- In some cases, vasculitis will resolve itself
- Common treatments include steroid therapy that fights inflammation
Source: WebMD and The Vasculitis Foundation
The father of two said he considers challenges an opportunity for growth.
‘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,’ he said.
The episode featuring Ashton will be released Monday night on National Geographic.
Kutcher did not specify when exactly his medical issues began, however the actor maintained a relatively low profile during the pandemic lockdown, sharing just a few Instagram posts from the home he shares with Kunis, 38, while the pair were quarantining with their children.
The actors have also been rigorous about continuing to wear face masks for almost all of their public outings since the pandemic began, with both opting to go without face coverings on just a handful of occasions since March 2020, even after their hometown of Los Angeles removed all mask mandates.
Last month, the pair were both seen sporting face masks as they stepped out for a grocery store run with their two children.
However, Kutcher chose to go without a face covering this weekend, when he put on a very sporty display while enjoying a beach outing with his family – taking the opportunity to show off his athletic skills while playing some football.
The Stoner Cats star enjoyed playing some football on the beach with his wife in Santa Barbara.
That 90s Show star was shirtless and wore a pair of red and blue knee length swim trunks and a white billed cap as he threw the ball.
An adorable black dog tried to get in on the action.
The game got pretty intense as Kutcher – who is a former assistant high school football coach – was seen lying on the sand while triumphantly raising the ball in the air to prove he’d made a difficult catch.
In the preview clip from Kutcher’s upcoming appearance on Grylls’ latest show, he did not go into detail about his vasculitis treatment process, however the Mayo Clinic states that treatment for the condition typically ‘focuses on controlling the inflammation and managing any underlying conditions that may be triggering the vasculitis’.
The most common type of drug prescribed for vasculitis sufferers are corticosteroids, which are used to control the inflammation of the blood vessels.
However these can have a number of unpleasant and severe side effects, including weight gain, diabetes, and weakened bones.
Vasculitis: Ashton, who has been married to Mila Kunis, 38, since 2015, suffers from vasculitis, which can thicken the walls of blood vessels, restricting blood flow to organs and tissue
Ashton Kutcher ‘lucky to be alive’ after rare autoimmune disorder left him unable to see, hear, walk