Symptoms of OPMD
Aside from ptosis and dysphagia, there are other side effects of OPMD that can range from mild to life threatening. One of the most common complications with dysphagia is choking that can happen with spittle or just about anything that the patient ingests. This can lead to frequent bouts of pneumonia when particles are aspirated into the lungs. The disease progression may include proximal muscle weakness that will eventual lead to distal muscle weakness that can be mild or severe enough that there is significant difficulty completing any task that requires the use of the muscles in the legs such as walking, climbing stairs, bending down or other tasks and although relatively rare, some patients may end up needing the use of a wheelchair. Less common symptoms also include effects on the proximal upper arm muscles, atrophy of the tongue, a limited upwards gaze, speaking difficulties or dysphonia and general weakness of the muscles in the face.