What You Need to Know About Ocular Myasthenia Gravis

Who Does It Affect?

Ocular myasthenia gravis occurs in men and women of all ethnic groups. Although myasthenia gravis usually affects women under 40 and men over 60, it can occur at any age. Ocular myasthenia gravis is not directly inherited, nor is it contagious.

What Are the Symptoms?

The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness that increases during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Symptoms of ocular myasthenia gravis affect the muscles that control eye and eyelid movement. Common ocular myasthenia gravis symptoms include:
  • Drooping of one or both eyelids (ptosis)
  • Blurred vision due to weakness of the muscles that control eye movements
  • Double vision (diplopia) due to weakness of the muscles that control eye movements.
Ocular myasthenia gravis symptoms vary in severity.

Diagnosing Ocular Myasthenia Gravis

Weakness is a common symptom of many disorders, which is why ocular myasthenia gravis is often misdiagnosed in people who experience mild weakness. Therefore, a delay in diagnosis of one or two years is not unusual in cases of ocular myasthenia gravis.
In order to diagnose ocular myasthenia gravis, healthcare providers will:
  • Review the patient's medical history
  • Review the patient's physical and neurological examinations
  • Look for symptoms such as impairment of eye movements.
Tests that are used to confirm an ocular myasthenia diagnosis include the following:
  • Blood test
  • Edrophonium test
  • Nerve conduction study
  • Single fiber electromyography (EMG).
(Click Myasthenia Diagnosis for more information on the tests that used to diagnose ocular myasthenia gravis.)
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