The Turkish Society of Ophthalmology reported that uveitis seen in Behçet's patients can cause permanent vision loss in young people between the ages of 20-40, but blindness can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment, and the risk of vision loss is considerably reduced thanks to new treatment methods.
Representing ophthalmologists in Turkey, the Turkish Ophthalmology Association continues its efforts to raise awareness in order to prevent vision loss experienced by Behçet's patients. Head of Turkish Ophthalmology Association Uvea-Behçet Unit Prof. Dr. Pınar Çakar Özdal said that thanks to the new treatment methods, they can now prevent the vision loss experienced by Behçet patients, and said, “Behçet patients should know that this disease is a treatable disease. As long as it is diagnosed early, as long as it is treated early. The most important condition of preventing blindness is that patients do not neglect their check-ups and their compliance with treatment.
The highest number of Behçet's patients in the world is in Turkey
prof. 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, nervous system, skin, 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 are trying to raise awareness of patients on both diagnosis and treatment of Behçet's patients and ensure that they continue their treatment without interruption.
a curable disease
prof. Dr. Pınar Çakar Özdal, adding that Behçet's uveitis is a treatable disease and that early diagnosis and treatment are of vital importance, said: “In the past, it resulted in much more blindness, because treatment methods and 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 conscious and adapt to their treatment. Patients should know that this disease can be treated, as long as it is diagnosed and treated early.”
25 percent of uveitis patients have Behçet's disease
Eye involvement is one of the most important manifestations of Behçet's disease and is seen with a frequency of up to 70 percent. Behçet's disease causes intraocular inflammation called uveitis, which is characterized by recurrent attacks and recovery periods. Uveitis is a very broad concept and may 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 percent of uveitis patients in our country were Behçet's patients.
There are characteristic ocular findings that allow us to distinguish uveitis due to Behçet's disease from other uveitis, and experienced ophthalmologists can often diagnose Behçet's uveitis only by examination. Although the disease can start in one eye, it usually affects both eyes. Behçet's uveitis shows a typical course of sudden onset of inflammatory signs, followed by recovery and recurrence. However, each of these attacks may cause more or less damage to the eye and vision-threatening complications may develop. Patients usually present with complaints of redness in the eye, 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 have an eye examination every 6 months, even if they do not have eye complaints. If an eye complaint occurs, a doctor should be consulted immediately. The frequency of control 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 disease that affects many systems in the body. 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 aphthae in the mouth, genital ulcer and uveitis (inflammatory disease of the eye).
Behçet's disease is thought to have spread along the historical Silk Road. The historical Silk Road starts from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and passes through the south of the Caspian Sea and ends in the Middle East countries. Today, the countries where the disease is most common; Turkey is the Far East and Middle East countries. While its incidence is 1/10.000 in Japan, it is 42/10.000 in Turkey. The disease is most commonly seen between the ages of 30-40. 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 in the productive age and affects many organs and systems in the body increases the importance of the disease even more.
Although the exact cause of the disease is not known, it is thought to develop on a genetic basis, with the effect 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 more rare. This supports that environmental factors have an important place in Behçet's disease.