Behçet’s Disease

Facts About Behçet’s Disease of the Eye

Behçet’s Defined

What is Behçet’s disease?

Behçet’s disease is an autoimmune disease that results from damage to blood vessels throughout the body, particularly veins. In an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks and harms the body’s own tissues. This disease is also known as adamantiades.


What causes Behçet’s disease?

The exact cause is unknown. It is believed that an autoimmune reaction may cause blood vessels to become inflamed, but it is not clear what triggers this reaction.


What are the symptoms of Behçet’s disease?

Behçet’s disease affects each person differently. The four most common symptoms are mouth sores, genital sores, inflammation inside of the eye, and skin problems. Inflammation inside of the eye (uveitis, retinitis, and iritis) occurs in more that half of those with Behçet’s disease and can cause blurred vision, pain, and redness.

Other symptoms may include arthritis, blood clots, and inflammation in the central nervous system and digestive organs.

Behçet’s syndrome or Behçet’s disease (pronounced betchets) is a condition that causes a number of symptoms, including:

  • mouth ulcers
  • genital ulcers
  • eye inflammation.

During pregnancy

Behçet’s does not appear to be linked to pregnancy complications, but the medications used can be harmful to the unborn baby. For this reason, it is best for any pregnancy to be planned and discussed first with a health provider. Sometimes a baby is born with neonatal Behçet’s disease. This is very rare and usually resolves itself within 6 to 8 weeks.


How is Behçet’s disease treated?

There is no cure for Behçet’s disease. Treatment typically focuses on reducing discomfort and preventing serious complications. Corticosteroids and other medications that suppress the immune system may be prescribed to treat inflammation.

What is the prognosis for someone with Behçet’s disease?

Behçet’s is a chronic disease that recurs. However, patients may have periods of time when symptoms go away temporarily (remission). How severe the disease is varies from patient to patient. Some patients may live normal lives, but others may become blind or severely disabled.


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