What is Behçet's Disease?

What is Behçet's Disease?

Behçet’s disease is named after the Turkish dermatologist, Dr. Hulusi Behçet, that first diagnosed the disease in 1937. The disease is identified as a chronic condition, the most common symptoms include inflammation of parts of the eye, painful mouth sores, and genital sores. The exact cause of Behçet’s disease is unknown, but most symptoms are caused by the inflammation of the blood vessels. The disease is believed to be partly genetic and not contagious. This disease is rare in the United states, although it is commonly found in Asia and the Middle East. It primarily affects people in their 20’s and 30’s.

Who Gets Behçet’s Disease?

Behçet’s disease is rare in the United States and Western Europe. Although, common in the Middle East and Asia.

  • An estimated 3 in 100,000 people have this disease in the United States.
  • The disease is most prevalent in Turkey with 1 in 250 people being affected by it.
  • Also, it is the leading cause of blindness in countries such as Israel and Japan.

Behçet’s Disease can affect all ages, genders, and races.

  • It primarily affects young adults in their 20’s and 30’s.
  • In Middle Eastern countries, males are the most commonly affected.
  • In the United States, Japan, and Korea women are affected more frequently.

What are the Causes of Behçet’s Disease?

The cause of Behçet’s disease is unknown. Although, nearly all the symptoms are caused by the inflammation of blood vessels. A reasonable explanation is inheriting a problem with the immune system that makes it more likely to develop the disease. Contact with certain substances in the environment, such as bacteria or viruses, may cause the immune system to attack the blood vessels causing inflammation and leading to symptoms.

How Does Behçet’s Disease Affect the Eyes?

The major involvement of the eye in Behçet’s Disease is inflammation spreading inside the eye, causing uveitis.

  • Behçet’s can cause a condition called uveitis that causes inflammation in the front of the eye or in the back of the eye.
  • Anterior uveitis results in pain, blurry vision, light sensitivity, tearing, or redness of the eye.
  • Posterior uveitis may be more dangerous and vision-threatening because it often causes fewer symptoms while damaging the most important part of the eye, the retina.
  • 70% of those with Behçet’s disease will have their eyes affected by it.
  • 25% of those with Behçet’s disease will have severe visual impairment.

What are Other Symptoms of Behçet’s Disease?

 Mouth:

  • The most common sign of Behçet’s disease is painful mouth sores, akin to canker sores.
  • The sores start as elevated, cylindrical lesions that turn into painful ulcers.

Skin:

  • Skin sores can look like acne, circular nodules, or ulcers that can be either shallow or deep and painful.
  • These sores can occur anywhere on the body, although they typically appear on the legs and upper torso.

Genitals:

  • Males are affected by painful genital lesions on their scrotum and females can develop painful genital ulcers on their vulva.

Joints:

  • Arthritis, inflammation of the joints, causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints.
  • The most common areas affected by Behçet’s disease are the ankles, elbows, knees, and hips.

Gastrointestinal:

  • Lesions can occur anywhere throughout the gastrointestinal system from the mouth to the anus.
  • These can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bleeding.

Brain:

  • Inflammation in the brain and nervous system from Behçet’s Disease can lead to headaches, fever, disorientation, poor balance, and a stroke.

The Diagnoses of Behçet’s Disease

It’s not possible to diagnose Behçet’s disease with one definitive test. Signs and symptoms are used to make a diagnosis. Blood tests or laboratory tests may be used to rule out other conditions. The key symptoms doctors look for in diagnosing Behçet’s disease are mouth sores, occurring 3 or more times in the last 12 months. Other symptoms for diagnoses can be at least two of the following symptoms: genital sores, eye problems, skin sores, or a positive pathergy test.

The Treatment of Behçet’s Disease

Currently, a cure does not exist for Behçet’s disease. Symptoms can be controlled with a regime designed by a doctor that includes rest, medication, exercise, and a healthy diet. Minimizing pain and preventing serious complications, such as blindness and arthritis, are the goals of treatment. A combination of treatments is typically used to relieve specific symptoms. The length of treatment and type of medicine depend on the severity of symptoms.

Behçet’s Disease and NuEyes

Behçet’s disease can cause ocular manifestations, which cause the most serious implications. Visual impairments affect 70% of those with the disease.

1. What can you see?

Vision can be impaired due to little black specks clouding the vision. NuEyes ODG smartglasses takes what the user is looking at and puts it directly in front of their eyes. This allows the user to fully see their surroundings. A sensitivity to light is a common symptom of Behçet’s disease. With NuEyes ODG smartglasses it is possible to adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of what the user sees. Blood vessels may leak more fluid than normal, water logging the retina. This causes a reduction in the central vision. Due to magnification from 1x-12x in Nueyes ODG Smartglasses it is possible for users to control the smartglasses based on their needs.

  • Puts images directly in front of eyes
  • Able to fully see surroundings
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, and color of image
  • 1x-12x magnification
  • Control based on needs

2. What freedom do they Allow?

A hands-free device allows use of both hands while the low vision glasses enable vision. The head-worn display for low vision is voice activated, has an adjustable HD camera, wireless battery powered, and is able to browse the web, emails, and social media. Michael A. Samuel, a retina specialist, says, “A device like this allows them to take this technology outside of the home to places they want to go. It expands their ability to live their life a little bit more than they did before.” This wearable technology is the future for patients with low vision, allowing them the ability to see in stores, restaurants, and anywhere they wish to go.

  • A hands-free device allowing freedom and sight
  • A head-worn display that is voice activated
  • An Adjustable HD camera
  • Wireless and battery powered
  • Browse the web, emails, and social media
  • Ability to see in stores, restaurants, and etc.

3. What are the Details?

An HD digital camera mounted on the center bridge of the frames streams images to built-in 3D stereoscopic HD display lenses. An LED light helps to see in dark environments. A touch interface on the temples of the smartglasses provides haptic feedback, a vibration when touched to alert that it’s been pressed. The NuEyes ODG smartglasses are auto focus with high definition optics, other features include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a GPS sensor. Magnification is available up to 12x, allowing sight of people or objects in close detail. A sensor within the NuEyes ODG smartglasses reads the barometric pressure and humidity in the user’s environment.

  • An LED light for dark environments
  • A touch interface with haptic feedback
  • Autofocusing high definition optics
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS sensor
  • Magnification up to 12x
  • Barometric pressure and humidity sensors