The dominant symptom of myasthenia gravis is weakness of voluntary muscles. Most commonly, it affects muscles that control eyelids, facial expression, and the tongue and mouth, but any voluntary muscle may be impaired. People experience different levels of muscle weakness that can be localized to just one area, or general affecting many muscles. Symptoms of myasthenia gravis may appear suddenly, but sometimes are not immediately identified with the disorder as they also occur in other conditions.
Signs of Myasthenia Gravis
- Drooping eyelids
- Blurred or double vision
- Mask-like facial expression
- Speech problems
- Problems chewing and swallowing
- Difficulty walking, standing up, or climbing stairs
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness in the extremities and neck
For most people, activity increases the muscle weakness caused by myasthenia gravis, and rest reduces it. Patients also may experience alternating periods when symptoms increase and when they subside. With treatment some people go into remission for a period of time, and in a few, rare cases experience complete remission.