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Managing myasthenia gravis symptoms.

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic condition that makes your muscles tired and weak. It often affects the muscles of your eyes, face, lips, tongue, jaw, neck, arms and legs. This can make it hard to chew, swallow, shrug your shoulders, lift your arm up, hold on to things, get out of a chair, or walk up the stairs. Symptoms usually get worse at the end of the day or after being active. Your eyes might get tired and your eyelids might start to droop. Or you might see double or have blurry vision. When your breathing muscles get tired, it’s called a myasthenic crisis. This is an emergency.  

How to manage your symptoms

The muscles usually get stronger again after you rest them. So, it’s helpful to think of ways to help save your energy. For example, you use your jaw muscles to chew food. These muscles may get tired while you eat especially if the food is hard to chew. Here are some ideas to make it easier for you to eat:

  • Eat small meals more often
  • Eat when you have the most strength
  • Use things like gravies, sauces or yogurt to soften foods
  • Choose softer foods like chicken or fish instead of tougher meats
  • Avoid things like sandwiches, bagels or muffins
  • Take breaks between bites

Try these other tips to get through your day a little easier:

  • Get your chores and activities done when you have the most energy
  • Take plenty of breaks and do things in stages
  • Put handrails to support you like by a toilet or next to a chair
  • Let your hair air dry instead of using a blow dryer
  • Take warm baths and showers; avoid hot ones since extreme temperature can trigger your symptoms
  • Put things you use a lot in areas that are easy to access
  • Use an electric can opener and electric mixer
  • Use lightweight plastic dishes and silverware
  • Use a well-fitted neck collar to support your neck if you need it like when you use the computer
  • Alternate an eye patch from one eye to the other when you do things like watch TV
  • Get plenty of sleep at night and take naps
  • Ask for help when you need it

Talk to your doctor about other ideas that might work for you. Find out what others with myasthenia gravis do to help manage their symptoms.

We’re here to help

Your CVS Specialty® CareTeam is here to answer your questions. They can also help you manage your symptoms and help you feel your best. If you want to learn more about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor or contact your CareTeam.

CVS Specialty® and Coram® CVS Specialty Infusion Services (Coram) work together to dispense and administer Myasthenia Gravis’s therapy to patients. To learn more about how Coram is keeping you safe and healthy at home during infusion treatments, click here.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result.