Do you have a droopy eyelid? You could have myasthenia

There are many diseases that we do not know about and sometimes when we have a symptom we do not give it importance, either because it does not seem serious, because it does not hurt, because we are ignorant or because we believe that “in two days it is cured”. In some cases, we may be facing an unequivocal sign that we have myasthenia, and not a simple drooping of the eyelids.

Today we are going to talk about myasthenia, a disease with several very specific causes and that has very clear symptoms, as well as a few risk factors that aggravate myasthenia. It is important to know the symptoms above all to be able to detect it in time. This disease can affect anyone and in any age range, especially women under 40 years of age and men over 60 years of age.

Myasthenia is irreversible and progresses with some speed, currently there is a treatment that only helps us to alleviate the symptoms. If we notice symptoms, it is best to go to the doctor as soon as possible and start treatment as soon as possible, apart from informing us a lot about what our life will be like from now on, what is recommended to do and what not to do.

What is myasthenia?

Getting into the thick of the topic, myasthenia is a neuromuscular disorder that involves muscles and nerves that we can consciously control. This disease is characterized by causing fatigue and rapid weakness in some or all of the muscles under our voluntary control.

This happens because the connection between the nerves and the muscles is broken , causing the famous drooping of the eyelids, as well as difficulty speaking and swallowing, among other key symptoms that something is not working quite right.

There are two types of myasthenia, mild and severe. The latter is the one that we are going to deal with in this text since it is the most obvious in terms of causes, symptoms and with a clearer treatment. This disease can appear before 40 years in women and after 60 years in men and has no cure, at least not for now.

Most common causes and risk factors

There are a series of common causes in all patients with myasthenia and these causes ultimately lead to a lack of control over our muscles and nerves. In fact, based on so much research, if a doctor suspects myasthenia in his diagnosis, they will do analytics and other tests to rule out tumors in the thymus, respiratory failure, weakened immune system, etc.

  • Antibodies. In myasthenia gravis, antibodies block and destroy muscle receptors for the neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine.
  • Scam The thymus gland is part of the immune system and is large during childhood and small when we are adults. If that gland grows in size, it is usually due to tumors and sometimes they are carcinogenic.

There are also a number of risk factors that aggravate the disease and to be careful if you suspect myasthenia:

  • Fatigue.
  • Infection.
  • Surgery.
  • A lot of stress.
  • Beta-blocker drugs, antibiotics, anesthetics, etc.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Menstrual periods

It is due to these risk factors that the disease strikes a lot in women under 40 years of age , which is the age at which some menopausal symptoms begin to appear and is known as the menopausal transition. It only happens to a small percentage of the population and is also known as premenopause.

Una mujer con síntomas de miastenia

Symptoms of myasthenia

Continuing with this serious disease, we must say that many of its symptoms are treatable, but some complications can be fatal. So we take the opportunity to emphasize and monitor ourselves and our family and friends.

The muscle weakness that this disease causes worsens as the affected muscles are used. That is to say, it is best to rest that area and not exercise it, or force it, or promote movement, or anything similar.

It is also true that that same muscle weakness may be appearing and disappearing at will and we cannot control it. It can even disappear and come back after years with a very strong and serious outbreak.

The main symptoms of myasthenia are:

  • Drooping of one or both eyelids.
  • Double vision, horizontally or vertically.
  • Impaired ability to speak.
  • Difficulty to swallow.
  • Facial expressions change.
  • Tiredness when chewing.
  • Weakness in the neck muscles, even being unable to support the head.
  • The arms lose strength.
  • The legs are weak, even the way of walking changes.

There are very serious symptoms for which yes or yes we must go to a doctor at that precise moment. We refer to when the person affected by myasthenia begins to have difficulties to turn, breathe, swallow, chew, move, hold the head , etc. Let’s not downplay it, let’s not believe that “it is a matter of age and tomorrow it will be fine.” This disease progresses rapidly and the person’s life is at risk. constant.

Diagnosis and treatment

There are a number of tests and diagnoses that doctors have to do to make sure a patient has myasthenia. The first will be a physical exam to evaluate the nervous system with tests to detect muscle weakness, reflexes and sensitivity.

There are also other series of tests such as antibody tests, a chest MRI, nerve conduction study to see how fast nerve signals react, electromyography, lung tests and edrophin test to see if this medicine reduces or neutralizes symptoms for a while.

The treatment for these cases is patience and follow the medication and continue with the medical controls. There is no cure for this disease, as we have already commented throughout the text, so it only remains to trust the medication and be aware that there will be good days, and even periods without symptoms, and serious outbreaks.

As a treatment, a change of life is usually prescribed, that is, to get away from stress, rest a lot , do not move the muscles that are affected by myasthenia, wear an eye patch in case of double vision, avoid high temperatures, go to physical therapy, thymus removal, eyelid surgery, etc.