Myasthenia Gravis is among the many autoimmune diseases that are highly unpredictable, undetectable, and incurable. Because there is so little known about the cause and cure for this disease, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America has made June Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness and funds to continue research.
Myasthenia Gravis literally means “grave muscle weakness,” and results in varying length periods of extreme muscle weakness when performing voluntary muscle functions. Symptoms include but are not limited to blurred vision, droopy eyelids, speech problems, difficulty eating, breathing and moving. Victims are likely to tire very easily when engaging in any kind of physical activity, and show signs of improvement after resting. Some of the symptoms seem to be similar to chronic fatigue syndrome and a variety of other ailments, so specific testing is necessary to verify the present of Myasthenia Gravis, usually in the form of blood tests and studies of the body’s nerve reactions.
The presence of particular antibodies in the blood is believed to be the root cause, but contraction of the disease is not congenital, hereditary or communicable, so researchers are still in search of why it occurs. It usually shows up without warning in later decades of life, in both males and females.
Myasthenia Gravis is currently treated with a variety of medications based on physicians’ recommendations for individual patients. The main goal of any treatment is to remove or stop the bad antibodies from interfering with proper nerve/muscle interaction. Sometimes the disease improves or goes into remission independently of treatments or medication, but may return at a later time.
Suffers of Myasthenia Gravis may find it difficult or impossible to stay employed because of the extreme muscle fatigue associated with it. Even if you are experiencing a milder bout and are still able to work, Myasthenia Gravis can cause you to miss a lot of work because it worsens or improves unpredictably. Employers don’t like workers that they can’t depend on.
Social Security Disability benefits can help alleviate the financial difficulty Myasthenia Gravis often forces on its sufferers. The disease is listed under neurological disorders on the SSA’s website listing of specific qualifying medical conditions in order to be determined disabled. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires you to not only demonstrate through conclusive medical records that you are a sufferer of Myasthenia Gravis; it also requires you to prove that the disease renders you unable to perform your job, or any other job.
Applying for Social Security Disability can be intimidating considering that over 60% of initial claims are rejected. To increase your chances of a favorable determination, make sure your physicians document your Myasthenia Gravis very carefully, and are aware that you are applying for disability benefits. Most doctors are familiar with the SSDI application process. Become familiar yourself with the SSA’s specific requirements, as listed on their webpages. Contacting a disability lawyer that deals specifically with helping clients win disability cases is also wise, as they are aware of the loopholes in the system.