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What causes difficult breathing and double vision?

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Posted on Tue, 22 Jul 2014
Question: My husband (77 yrs. of age)is in Chico Calif. It is opinion of Ophthalmologist and gen practice Dr. he probably has Myasthenia Gravis. Symptoms which began 6 wks. ago, limp/gait, double vision, escalating last 4 days to one eyelid completely closed. ER Dr.(hospitalist) examined him but could not help. Said to see a Neurologist. Blood work taken this am at Gen. Prac. Dr office., won't get results for 1 wk. Neurologists he referred us to can't see him till Mon. or 3 months from now. Trying to convince him to call another right now. Shouldn't we go to a Neurologist today? It has escalated so quickly now it may impair his breathing which has not yet happened.
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Answered by Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Any fever or infection - need to got to ER

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXX,
I am Dr. Prakash HM and I would like to answer your query.
Myasthenia Gravis, unless it it a crisis (myasthenia crisis) does not cause breathing difficulty.
Crisis usually occurs when there is co-existing infections or other systemic disorders which increases the load on the muscles.
With or without treatment, if he develops any fever or infection, then he should be taken to ER for further management.
If any new medications, other than for myasthenia gravis are being started, you need to look at it seriously, as some medications exacerbate it (eg: antibiotics, cardiac drugs etc.) and could lead to myasthenia crisis
Ask him to avoid excessive physical activity (for his age) and take rest when necessary.
If his symptoms are developing slowly as it has taken 6 weeks, you can take it slowly. (periods of remissions and excesses are going to be there, even with treatment)
Most of the times, it could limit itself to eye muscles even for three years without spreading to other parts. Limp/gait abnormality is not usually seen. It is only weakness, which could improve with rest.
Hope it helps.
Any further queries, happy to help again.
Dr. Prakash HM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda

Geriatrics Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2138 Questions

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What causes difficult breathing and double vision?

Brief Answer: Any fever or infection - need to got to ER Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXX, I am Dr. Prakash HM and I would like to answer your query. Myasthenia Gravis, unless it it a crisis (myasthenia crisis) does not cause breathing difficulty. Crisis usually occurs when there is co-existing infections or other systemic disorders which increases the load on the muscles. With or without treatment, if he develops any fever or infection, then he should be taken to ER for further management. If any new medications, other than for myasthenia gravis are being started, you need to look at it seriously, as some medications exacerbate it (eg: antibiotics, cardiac drugs etc.) and could lead to myasthenia crisis Ask him to avoid excessive physical activity (for his age) and take rest when necessary. If his symptoms are developing slowly as it has taken 6 weeks, you can take it slowly. (periods of remissions and excesses are going to be there, even with treatment) Most of the times, it could limit itself to eye muscles even for three years without spreading to other parts. Limp/gait abnormality is not usually seen. It is only weakness, which could improve with rest. Hope it helps. Any further queries, happy to help again. Dr. Prakash HM