Progressive external ophthalmoplegia digital illustration

Progressive external ophthalmoplegia Save

ICD-10 code: H49.4

Chapter: Diseases of the eye and adnexia

Understanding Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia (PEO)

Progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO) is a rare genetic disorder that affects the muscles that control eye movement. PEO is characterized by a gradual weakening of the muscles that control eye movement, resulting in drooping eyelids and difficulty moving the eyes. It is a progressive disorder, meaning that symptoms worsen over time.

PEO is a mitochondrial disorder, which means it is caused by mutations in the DNA of mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for producing energy in cells, and when they don't function properly, cells in the body can't produce enough energy to function properly. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue, and difficulty with coordination.

Symptoms of PEO

The most common symptom of PEO is drooping eyelids, which can make it difficult to see. Other symptoms may include:

  1. Difficulty moving the eyes
  2. Double vision
  3. Weakness in other muscles, such as those in the arms and legs
  4. Difficulty swallowing
  5. Speech difficulties

Because PEO is a progressive disorder, symptoms typically worsen over time. However, the rate of progression can vary from person to person.

Treatment for PEO

There is no cure for PEO, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms. Treatment may include:

  1. Eye patches or glasses with prisms to help with double vision
  2. Physical therapy to help with muscle weakness and coordination
  3. Medications to manage symptoms such as drooping eyelids
  4. Surgery to correct eyelid drooping or improve eye movement

It's important to work with a doctor who specializes in mitochondrial disorders to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.

Living with PEO

PEO can be a challenging disorder to live with, but there are things you can do to help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. These may include:

  1. Getting regular exercise to help with muscle strength and coordination
  2. Eating a healthy diet to support mitochondrial function
  3. Getting enough rest to help manage fatigue
  4. Joining a support group to connect with others who are living with PEO

Living with PEO may require some lifestyle changes, but with the right treatment and support, it is possible to live a full and meaningful life