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Ashton Kutcher Reveals He Lost His Vision And Hearing During Illness, Didn't Know If He'd Ever Walk Again

Ashton Kutcher on The Ranch
(Image credit: Netflix)

Over two decades after finding his way into Hollywood, Ashton Kutcher remains one of the entertainment industry’s biggest stars. The fan-favorite actor recently starred in the dark comedy Vengeance and has a few more films on the way. Kutcher’s even joining Reese Witherspoon in an upcoming rom-com. And of course, he’s also set to reprise his famous role as Michael Kelso on Netflix’s That ‘70s Show spinoff. Aside from the plethora of acting gigs, Kutcher’s also thankful for the fact that he was able to overcome a serious illness that caused him to lose his hearing and vision. The actor recently opened up about the condition, which had him under the impression that he’d never walk again. 

Ashton Kutcher was the latest A-lister to appear on Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge. During a clip from the episode (which was shared with Access Hollywood), the 44-year-old revealed that a few years ago, he was diagnosed with vasculitis. The medical condition can come in various strains, but it most commonly damages an individual’s blood vessels through inflammation. While on the reality TV series, Kutcher didn’t hold back when discussing how the disorder “knocked out” his senses and how long it took him to recover: 

Like two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis, that like knocked out my vision, it knocked out my hearing, it knocked out like all my equilibrium. It took me like a year to build it all up. You don’t really appreciate it, until it’s gone. Until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to see again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to hear again, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to walk again.'

The Ranch star went on to tell Bear Grylls that he’s “lucky to be alive” and, after hearing all of that, I’d wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. Vasculitis can be treated with steroid medications and, depending on the case, patients may be required to take them for an extended period of time. Other immunosuppressive antibiotics may be used as well. While the TV vet didn’t go into the specifics of his recovery, it may be fair to assume that he took advantage of such treatments.

This isn’t the only time that Two and Half Men’s Walden Schmidt actor has experienced a major medical emergency, as his wife, Mila Kunis, revealed another one just last year. Kunis (who made her husband sell his space ticket) explained that Ashton Kutcher ended up in the hospital with pancreatitis while indulging in an all-grape diet. The performer had adopted the eating habit while preparing to play the lead role in Jobs. While concerning at the time, Kunis can now joke about it, even calling her hubby “so dumb” for going that far for a role.

Such situations can put things into perspective for a person, and Ashton Kutcher doesn’t seem to be wasting a moment. With what he’s been through, the fact that he gets to return to the character that made him a household name. Kutcher has spoken about his return for That ‘90s Show, explaining that he and Mila Kunis (who played Jackie Burkhart) felt it was only right for them to reprise the roles that made them stars. 

I think I speak for everyone when it’s great to see that the star has recovered from his illness and is still able to act. It’s unfortunate that he had to go through such a thing but, if anything, his experience could bring further public awareness to the condition. Here’s to many years of good health and fun acting gigs for the Hollywood staple!

Running Wild with Bear Grylls airs Mondays on National Geographic, and past seasons are available to stream with a Disney+ subscription. Also, anyone looking to check out That ‘90s Show when it premieres should grab themselves a Netflix subscription.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.