Myasthenia Gravis Causes, Symptoms and Risk
What causes myasthenia gravis?
Your body’s own immune system damages the muscles’ receptors and causes myasthenia gravis. With myasthenia gravis, your immune system produces antibodies that interfere with the receptors. This interference damages the connection between the chemical that travels from nerve endings and the receptors. Your muscles need this connection for them work correctly. Without it the muscles become weak.
What are the symptoms of myasthenia gravis?
The first symptoms of myasthenia gravis often involve the eyes. The most common sign is ptosis, or drooping eyelids. This may affect one or both eyes. If you have myasthenia gravis, you may also feel more tired as the day goes on.
Other myasthenia gravis symptoms include:
- double vision
- weakness in the arms or legs
- difficulty breathing, talking, chewing, or swallowing
Who gets myasthenia gravis?
There are no known risk factors for myasthenia gravis. People who have a family history of myasthenia gravis may be at greater risk to get the disease. Women are more likely to get myasthenia gravis between the ages of 20 and 40. Men are more likely to get the condition after the age of 60. But myasthenia gravis can occur at any age.
Myasthenia gravis can get worse with stress, illness, and fatigue. If you have myasthenia, check with your doctor before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine. Certain medicines can contribute to worsening myasthenia gravis symptoms.