About ophthalmoplegia, recurrent

What is ophthalmoplegia, recurrent?

Tolosa-Hunt syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by severe periorbital headaches, along with decreased and painful eye movements (ophthalmoplegia). Symptoms usually affect only one eye (unilateral). In most cases, affected individuals experience intense sharp pain and decreased eye movements. Symptoms often will subside without intervention (spontaneous remission) and may recur without a distinct pattern (randomly). Affected individuals may exhibit signs of paralysis (palsy) of certain cranial nerves such as drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis), double vision (diplopia), large pupil, and facial numbness. The affected eye often abnormally protrudes (proptosis). The exact cause of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome is not known, but the disorder is thought to be associated with inflammation of specific areas behind the eye (cavernous sinus and superior orbital fissure).

What are the symptoms for ophthalmoplegia, recurrent?

People affected by ophthalmoplegia may have double or blurred vision. They may also experience an inability to position the eyes in sync. Some may also have a hard time moving both eyes in every direction, and many will have drooping of their eyelids.

If ophthalmoplegia is associated with a systemic disorder, other symptoms may include Difficulty swallowing and general muscle weakness.

What are the causes for ophthalmoplegia, recurrent?

This condition can be congenital (present at birth) or develop later in life. It is generally caused by disruption of the messages that are sent from the brain to the eyes.

Internuclear ophthalmoplegia is often caused by multiple sclerosis, trauma, or infarction.

External ophthalmoplegia is usually caused by muscle disorders or mitochondrial diseases such as Graves’ disease or Kearns-Sayre syndrome.

Other common causes include:

  • migraines
  • thyroid disease
  • stroke
  • brain injury
  • brain tumor
  • infection

What are the treatments for ophthalmoplegia, recurrent?

Treatment for ophthalmoplegia will depend on the type, symptoms, and underlying cause. Children born with this condition usually learn to compensate and may not be aware of vision problems. Adults can be fitted for special glasses, or wear an eye patch to relieve double vision and help achieve normal vision.

In some cases, treatment of migraines can lead to improved outcomes for people with ophthalmoplegia.

What are the risk factors for ophthalmoplegia, recurrent?

Ophthalmoplegia is slightly more likely to occur in people with diabetes. Men with diabetes who are over the age of 45 and have had type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years were recently identified as a higher risk category for developing ophthalmoplegia.

People that have a condition that affects their muscle control, such as multiple sclerosis or Graves’ disease, are more at risk than others. In general, there are no lifestyle choice factors that contribute to being at risk for ophthalmoplegia. But keeping a healthy vascular system by maintaining a balanced lifestyle will lessen your risk of stroke and related vision problems.

Is there a cure/medications for ophthalmoplegia, recurrent?

People that have isolated ophthalmoplegia tend to have a standard life expectancy. The underlying cause of your ophthalmoplegia will affect your overall prognosis. Genetic and mitochondrial diseases, a history of vascular disease or stroke, or genetic syndromes can vary your outlook drastically. It’s important to discover, address, and treat the cause of your ophthalmoplegia for the best outcome.

Video related to ophthalmoplegia, recurrent