Behçet’s Disease of the Eye

What is Behçet’s disease?

Behçet’s disease is a type of autoimmune disease. In people autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks their own tissues. In the case of Behçet’s disease (also known as “adamantiades”), the autoimmune reaction may cause the blood vessels to become inflamed and damaged, including those in the eye. However, doctors do not yet know what sets off this reaction.

What are the symptoms of Behçet’s disease?

The symptoms of Behçet’s disease can vary from person to person in both type and severity. The most common symptoms include:

  • Inflammation inside the eye (uveitis, retinitis, and iritis), which occurs in more than half of the people with Behçet’s disease and can cause blurry vision, pain, and redness
  • Skin problems
  • Mouth sores
  • Genital sores

Less commonly, Behçet’s disease can cause arthritis, blood clots, and inflammation of the digestive and central nervous systems.

What is the treatment for Behçet’s disease?

While there is no way to cure Behçet’s disease, you can take medications to reduce your symptoms, feel more comfortable, and lower your risk of complications. Your doctor may give you corticosteroids and other medicines to suppress the immune response and treat your inflammation.

Because Behçet’s disease is a chronic illness, your symptoms may go away (remission) and then come back. Your healthcare providers will help you understand your disease and what you may be able to do to live a more comfortable life.

Source: The National Eye Institute (NEI)