Behcets Disease


What is Behcet’s Disease?

Behcet’s Disease, also called Silk Road Disease is an autoimmune disease in which the blood vessels of your body get inflamed (a defense reaction of your body to any stimulus).

Symptoms of Behcet's Disease

A group of four symptoms are commonly known to occur in this disease: Mouth ulcers, Genital Ulcers, Skin problems and Inflammation inside your eye. Your joints, digestive system and nervous system may also be affected.

Inflammation inside your eyes can cause uveitis (uvea is the area around your pupil), retinitis (retina is the light sensitive tissue in your eye) and iritis (iris is the coloured part of your eye).

  • Blurry vision
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Blindness may be seen sometimes when your retina does not get enough blood supply

Causes of Behcet's Disease

What causes your own body’s cells to attack the blood vessels is not exactly known. People of Asian and Eastern Mediterranean origin are found to suffer more frequently. Men are affected more commonly than women and especially so during your 20s and 30s. Genetic factors combined with environmental factors like microbes are thought to play a role.

Tests for Behcet’s Disease

  • Ophthalmoscopy (a test to see the back of your eye) 
  • Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (A test to see the blood vessels in your eye)
  • Duplex and color Doppler sonography may be useful
  • Skin tests (called Pathergy test), MRI Brain, GIT tests etc. may be required depending on the symptoms.

Treatment for Behcet’s Disease

There is no cure for Behcet’s disease. Treatment consists of medications to reduce your discomfort, control the inflammation of your and prevent severe complications. Medications include steroids to suppress the errant immune system, colchicine etc. Steroid eye drops and steroid injections next to your eye may be given.

Likely outcome of Behcet’s Disease (Prognosis)

This disease is marked by its long term duration and recurrence. However, you may have periods when you go into remission (your symptoms go away temporarily). Severity of your disease may vary from you even leading a normal life to becoming blind and severely disabled. Vision loss may be kept in control by keeping the disease in remission.


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