Myotonic muscular dystrophy is a less severe form of muscular dystrophy, that mostly plagues adults. Read on for more information about this condition.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited muscular disorders characterized by progressive degeneration of muscles. Myotonic muscular dystrophy is a type of muscular dystrophy in which a person is unable to relax his muscles. Naturally, this condition is characterized by stiffness of muscles. For instance a person suffering from myotonic dystrophy may grip something such as door knob, but he is then unable to release his grip voluntarily. This condition may start out as a harmless one and may then progress into a severe one. Nonetheless, this is still the most harmless form of muscular dystrophy with excellent prognosis.
Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms
This condition mainly affects adults. Although, this is an inherited disorder, the symptoms only become evident in the adult life. The symptoms may then progress into advanced muscular degenerative disease. However, when this disease is diagnosed during infancy, the symptoms can be more severe. Congenital myotonic muscular dystrophy is characterized by inability to suck or swallow, excessive muscle weakness, breathing difficulty and issues with cognitive development. Myotonic muscular dystrophy in adults is characterized by following symptoms:
- Weakening of muscles that are located away from torso starting from feet, legs, hands and forearm.
- Weakening of muscles of head, neck and face, which may cause your face to droop and head to wobble.
- Weakening of muscles used for swallowing and breathing. This may result in insufficient oxygen intake, which eventually causes fatigue and exhaustion. Besides, inability to swallow properly may cause choking while eating.
- As the disease interferes with the electrical signals which regulate heartbeat, you may experience fainting or dizziness.
- Weakening of muscles of hollow organs such as uterus, which may seriously impair the function of corresponding organ. For instance, weakness in uterine walls may cause problems during pregnancy and childbirth, while those with digestive tract may cause inability to swallow properly.
- Other symptoms include baldness in men and cataract.
Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Treatment
There is no cure for this disease. The disease continues to progress with further degeneration of muscles. However, some of the symptoms associated with this disease can be controlled with the help of medications. This disease can be divided into two types type 1 and type 2. Type 2 is less severe than type 1. Type 1 affects muscles of lower legs, hands, neck and face whereas type 2 affects muscles of neck, shoulders, elbows and hips.
The treatment is targeted as per the type of muscular dystrophy. Symptoms such as diabetes can be controlled with the help of appropriate medications. Cataract may need to be treated by an eye surgery. Apart from that, other symptoms such as excessive sleepiness, fatigue can also be controlled with the help of drugs.
Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Life Expectancy
As mentioned above, this type of muscular dystrophy is less severe, hence offers excellent prognosis. During the initial years, patients may not even know they suffer from any such disease. They are likely to take this condition for muscle stiffness. Even then, the disease may not seriously hamper the lifespan of a person. Nonetheless, it can indeed affect the quality of life of a person. Besides, when this condition is diagnosed in infants or children, then the chances of recovery are very less.
In case you are an adult having problems with your voluntary muscles, it is a must that you get yourself screened for this condition. Early diagnosis may help you take proactive measures so that symptoms are kept under check.