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Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of muscular problems which leads to loss of muscle mass and therefore loss of muscle strength. This is a progressive condition and gradually worsens with time. in some cases, the patients may experience complete muscle breakdown, ultimately affecting patient mobility to a large extent. The condition is usually inherited and caused by genetic mutations. It can affect children and adults alike. There are different types of the condition but the most common ones are:
In addition to the patient, there is a lot of stress on the caregiver and so coping with MD is hard not just on the patient, but also on the caregivers. Listed below are some medical and nonmedical measures to deal with this condition.
- Medications: These could include corticosteroids which can delay the progression of MD. The doctor might also prescribe heart medications if the heart muscles are affected.
- Therapy: Physical and occupational therapy play a major role in the management of MD. Therapies could include a range of motion exercises to improve the flexibility of the particular joint and improve mobility. With time, some joints could become rigid and the range of movement may also become limited.
- Strength training: Another major problem with MD is the gradual loss of strength in the muscles. Training the muscles to retain and if possible improve strength is another objective of treatment. To this end, the doctor might prescribe exercises depending on overall health of the patient.
- Breathing aids: If the lungs are affected, then the person would need breathing aids to improve oxygen supply to the lungs and also other body parts. Sleep apnea is a common condition seen in people with MD, which makes breathing at night difficult.
- Braces: If the muscles are becoming rigid, then braces can be used to keep them in place. This helps in slowing the progression of muscle rigidity and also provides support for weakened muscles.
- Vaccination: Vaccination for pneumonia and flu should be up to date, as the chances of infection are higher
- Diet: Healthy diet is recommended, as eating too much junk and fried foods can lead to obesity, etc.
Especially if a child is affected, it is very important to not to keep them away from their regularly affects. Empathizing with them and working with them is very important. Encourage what they are able to do on their own, and gradually assist them to do more. Keep the school informed of issues so that they can provide necessary attention care and attention whenever required. For adults, being part of social forums and/or groups helps, as there would be others who are going through the same problem as you, so you can get tips and suggestions for coping.
A Hemifacial spasm is a disorder of the nervous system that causes one side of the face to twitch involuntarily. This may be caused by the compression or irritation of facial nerves. This is most commonly caused by a blood vessel that puts pressure on a facial nerve. In many cases, there is no apparent cause of a hemifacial spasm. In other cases, it can be triggered by an injury to a facial nerve or a tumor.
One of the most characteristic symptoms of this condition is involuntary twitching of the facial muscles. This typically begins around the eyes and can lead to forced closure of the eye. Gradually, these spasms spread to the lower part of the face and may turn continuous or affect all the facial muscles on one side of the face. These spams may worsen when the person is stressed or tired. Pain is usually not a symptom of this condition.
Hemifacial spasms can be treated in a few different ways. These include:
- Botulinum Toxin Injection: This is the most common form of treatment for this condition. This involves injecting small amounts of botulinum toxin into the patient’s face. The area around the eye is the primary target for such treatment. As a result of these injections, the muscles in the face are temporarily weakened and spasms are relieved. The effects of this injection can last for 3 to 6 months. Some of the side effects of this form of treatment include weakness, ptosis and facial asymmetry. However, these effects are usually temporary.
- Pharmacologic Therapy: In cases where spasms are infrequent and mild, medication may be used as treatment. It is also often prescribed to people who cannot be treated for this condition with botulinum toxin injections. Medication may also be prescribed to patients with early idiopathic hemifacial spasms or non-compressive lesions. This form of treatment is usually successful in early of mild cases of hemifacial spasms. However, over time, the effects of these medications can attenuate and more aggressive treatment may be required.
- Surgical Decompression: This form of treatment can have excellent results. It is often recommended in cases where the other two forms of treatment are unsuccessful. The most common type of surgical procedure used to address this condition is known as microvascular decompression. Another type of surgery that can be used is called the posterior fossa exploration. In rare cases, a Myectomy may be prescribed.
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