Eye Disorders Associated with Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of diseases that progressively cause muscular weakness, thus limiting the ability to move independently. In some cases, symptoms may be seen in childhood while in other cases the condition may start in adulthood. In these disorders various muscle groups become weak, but sometimes involvement of other organs may also be seen.
Everyone is highly dependent on our vision to stay aware of our external environment. Hence diseases of the eye are highly debilitating. It is especially worrisome if such a condition emerges along with muscular weakness. Degrees of visual impairment vary significantly between various muscular dystrophy diseases.
One may ask how can muscular dystrophy affect our vision. Eyes use muscles to focus themselves, and the movement of eyes is also required for proper vision. Muscular strength is needed to open and close the eyes, and ocular muscles also play a role in maintaining the pressure in our eyeballs. Further, some of the mutations in genes that affect muscles may also affect internal parts of the eye, like blood vessels, pigment, retina, neural conduction. Thus there are various mechanisms involved in visual disturbances related with muscular dystrophy.
As muscular dystrophy is a collective name for a group of diseases, ocular manifestations vary greatly from between individuals, depending on the cause of MD.