Ashton Kutcher revealed that he suffered for more than a year with vasculitis, an autoimmune disorder with symptoms that affected his ability to see, hear and walk. The actor made the revelation to adventurer Bear Grylls on the Monday, August 8, episode of the host’s show Running Wild: The Challenge.
“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, Ashton, 44, confessed to Bear in a sneak peek clip obtained by Access Hollywood.
The No Strings Attached star later clarified his comments in a tweet the same evening. “Before there are a bunch of rumors/chatter/whatever out there. Yes, I had a rare vasculitis episode 3 years ago (autoimmune flare up). I had some impairments [sic] [hearing], vision, balance issues right after. I fully recovered. All good. Moving on,” he wrote. “See you at the 2022 NYC Marathon.
Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels, where “if If blood flow is restricted, it can result in organ and tissue damage,” according to the Mayo Clinic. There “are many types of vasculitis, and most of them are rare” and that the condition “can be short term or long lasting.”
For Ashton, it took nearly a year to build back the senses he had lost. “You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone,” the Two and a Half Men star shared. “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.’”
Ashton didn’t detail how he overcame his physical issues, though the Mayo Clinic says that depending on what type of vasculitis one suffers from, the condition may improve without treatment, though “most types require medications to control the inflammation and prevent flare-ups.”
The actor and entrepreneur said that he considered himself “lucky to be alive” after his battle with vasculitis but looked as his journey to regain his senses in a positive way as a personal challenge.
“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 explained to Bear, 48, adding, “You start surfing on top of your problems instead of living underneath them.”
The host agreed, stating, “What do they say in survival? Storms make you stronger. And I think he’s living proof of that.”
The star hadn’t appeared on screen since his Netflix show The Ranch ended in 2020, while only having one acting credit in 2021, providing a voiced role on the animated series Stoner Cats. Ashton’s most recent film role was a brief appearance in the 2022 film, Vengeance.