What is Behçet’s disease, symptoms, causes and treatment methods?

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What is Behçet’s disease, symptoms, causes and treatment methods

The Turkish Society of Ophthalmology reported that the uveitis observed in Behçet’s patients can lead to permanent vision loss in young people between the ages of 20 and 40, but blindness can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment, and the risk of vision loss is greatly reduced thanks to new treatment methods.

Representing ophthalmologists in Turkey, the Turkish Ophthalmology Association continues its awareness efforts to prevent vision loss experienced by Behçet’s patients. Professor Pınar Çakar Özdal, head of the Uvea-Behçet Unit of the Turkish Ophthalmology Association, said that thanks to new treatment methods, they can now prevent vision loss experienced by Behçet patients, and has said: “Behçet’s patients should know that this disease is a treatable disease. As long as it’s diagnosed early, as long as it’s treated early. The most important condition for preventing blindness is that patients do not neglect their examinations and adherence to treatment.

The largest number of Behçet patients in the world are in Turkey

teacher. Dr. Pınar Çakar Özdal pointed out that Turkey is the country with the highest number of Behçet’s patients in the world and that the disease is a disease that affects not only the eyes but also the vessels, the nervous system, the skin , the gastrointestinal system and said: “This disease, which progresses with attacks, leaves permanent damage. It causes vision loss, especially in young patients, due to eye damage. As ophthalmologists, we try to educate patients in both the diagnosis and treatment of Behçet’s patients and to ensure that they continue their treatment without interruption.

a curable disease

teacher. Dr. Pınar Çakar Özdal, adding that Behçet’s uveitis is a treatable disease and early diagnosis and treatment are of vital importance, said: “In the past, it led to much more blindness, because methods and treatment possibilities were limited, only cortisone treatment was applied. But now we have more treatment methods and possibilities. The most important thing is that patients are aware and adapt to their treatment. Patients should know that this disease is treatable, as long as it is diagnosed and treated early.

25% of patients with uveitis have Behçet’s disease

Ocular involvement is one of the most important manifestations of Behçet’s disease and is observed with a frequency of up to 70%. Behçet’s disease causes intraocular inflammation called uveitis, which is characterized by recurrent attacks and periods of recovery. Uveitis is a very broad concept and can be associated with a wide variety of diseases. Behçet’s disease is the most common cause of uveitis in our country. A multicenter study we conducted showed that 25% of uveitis patients in our country were Behçet’s patients.

There are characteristic ocular findings that help distinguish uveitis due to Behçet’s disease from other uveitis, and experienced ophthalmologists can often only diagnose Behçet’s uveitis by examination. Although the disease can start in one eye, it usually affects both eyes. Behçet’s uveitis presents a typical course of sudden onset of inflammatory signs, followed by recovery and recurrence. However, each of these attacks can cause more or less damage to the eye and vision-threatening complications can develop. Patients usually complain of eye redness, blurred vision or loss of vision, floaters, pain in and around the eyes. However, sudden vision loss without any redness is also a common condition.

It is recommended that patients with Behçet’s disease have an eye exam every 6 months, even if they have no eye problems. If an eye complaint occurs, a doctor should be consulted immediately. The frequency of follow-up examinations of patients diagnosed with uveitis varies depending on the activity of the disease and the drugs used.

What is Behçet’s disease?

Behçet’s disease is a rare condition that affects many body systems. It was first published in 1937 by Turkish dermatologist Dr. It is named after Hulusi Behçet because it was defined as a syndrome associated with canker sores in the mouth, genital ulcer and uveitis (inflammatory disease of the stomach). ‘eye).

Behçet’s disease is believed to have spread along the historic Silk Road. The historic Silk Road starts from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and crosses the southern Caspian Sea and ends in the countries of the Middle East. Today, the countries where the disease is most prevalent; Turkey is the countries of the Far East and the Middle East. While its incidence is 1/10,000 in Japan, it is 42/10,000 in Turkey. The disease is most often observed between the ages of 30 and 40. Although it affects men and women equally in some societies, it is mostly seen in men in our country and has a more severe course in men. The fact that it affects the young population at the productive age and affects many organs and systems of the body further increases the importance of the disease.

Although the exact cause of the disease is not known, it is believed to develop on a genetic basis, as a result of environmental factors. The incidence of Behçet’s disease decreases in those who immigrate from countries where Behçet’s disease is common to countries where it is rarer. This confirms that environmental factors have an important place in Behçet’s disease.

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