Help and frequently asked questions

What is Bechet's Disease?


Bechet's Disease, or Bechet's Syndrome, is a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels. People of all ages can develop the disease, however it mainly affects those in their late 20s and 30s. It has been reported more commonly in young men of Eastern Mediterranean and Japanese descent.

The causes of this disease is not always known, although some doctors believe an inherited problem in the immune system may make it more likely for some people to develop the condition. This is thought to be an inherited autoimmune disorder, which means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells. Both genetic and environmental factors may also be responsible for Behcet's disease.One thing is for certain though - Bechet's Disease is not contagious, so even if you have it, you can't pass it on to friends or family.

What are the symptoms of Bechet's Disease?

There are a number of common symptoms that characterise this disease. Some people may only suffer mild symptoms, while the issues might be worse for others. The most common of these include mouth sores, genital sores, other skin sores, swelling in parts of the eye and arthritis.Less common symptoms are more serious, such as inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, blood clots, inflammation in the digestive system, and even blindness.Usually, these symptoms will not all appear at once and can be confused for other diseases with similar symptoms. In some cases, symptoms will flare up then fade away again.

How can Bechet's disease affect my eyes?

When it comes to affecting the eyes, Bechet's Disease can have mild to severe symptoms.These symptoms can include pain, blurred vision, redness and pain when looking at bright lights.Eye tissue can become red and swell. When this happens in the front of the eye (uvea), it is known as uveitis. If the retina is also involved and becomes inflamed (retinitis).This can lead to blindness if the condition is not treated.

Is Bechet's Disease treatable?

With the help of medical professionals, the symptoms of Bechet's Disease can be managed. The condition itself is incurable at this time.A team of doctors is usually required to offer treatment, depending on where the symptoms flare up. For example, an ophthalmologist is essential for dealing with any eye issues, while a dermatologist will help with any skin lesions, and a rheumatologist will deal with arthritic symptoms and other inflammatory problems. Gyneocologists and urologists will be needed to treat genital symptoms, gastroenterologists will treat any digestive problems and a neurologist will be required for any issues arising in the nervous system.Treatment usually involves medication for pain and inflammation, drugs to suppress the immune system, rest and other aids, depending on where the symptoms occur.