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What are the symptoms of myasthenia gravis?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of myasthenia gravis include muscle weakness in the eyes, face, throat, neck and limbs, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms generally worsen with repeated use of the affected muscle and improve with rest.

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Full Answer

Myasthenia gravis first occurs in the eyes in more than half of sufferers with symptoms such as double vision and drooping of the eyelids, according to Mayo Clinic. Double vision may be horizontal or vertical and normally improves when the patient closes one eye. When the condition affects the face or throat, patients may experience altered speech that sounds softer or more nasal than usual, and they may have difficulty swallowing. They may also have a hard time chewing once they are half way through a meal. Family members and friends may notice that the patient's facial expressions are limited, often commenting that the patient has lost his smile.

Although myasthenia gravis can also weaken the muscles of the neck, legs and arms, this normally only occurs in conjunction with other types of muscle weakness. Neck weakness impairs the patient's ability to hold up his head, and leg weakness may cause a waddling walk. However, myasthenia gravis more commonly affects the arms than the legs. The condition requires medical attention.

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