There are a variety of diseases that affect the muscles of the eye and eyelid. Some of these conditions are ocular manifestations of systemic diseases, while other conditions may be genetic. Double vision and droopy lids are symptoms of many of these conditions; however, treatments for eye muscle diseases are geared toward the underlying problem in each condition.
In Graves' disease, the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone thyroxine; this condition involves different systems in the body including the eye. As noted by MayoClinic.com, eye involvement is called Graves' ophthalmopathy, a condition in which the eye muscles and tissues behind and around the eye enlarge and push the eyes forward. Sometimes the tissues become so swollen that the eyes are unable to move and the patient develops double vision. Systemic treatment of elevated thyroxine levels is part of the treatment regimen but radiation and surgery may be required for the management of the eye symptoms.
Myasthenia gravis is defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as an autoimmune disease in which there is weakness in different voluntary muscles such as the eye muscles. Ocular myasthenia is often one of the first symptoms of this disease. The weakness of the eye muscles caused by this condition may result in double vision or droopy eyelids. Medications that improve muscle strength are often used as treatment as well as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants.
Another eye muscle disorder is strabismus, a condition in which the eyes do not move together properly. This condition can occur in children but it can also happen in adults as well. While children with strabismus do not usually have double vision, adults with this muscle disorder suffer from double vision and loss of depth perception. According to EyeCare America, eye surgery is the most common treatment for strabismus.
Muscle Eye Brain Disease
Muscle eye brain disease is a rare condition with a specific set of symptoms. The National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases Research states that this is a congenital muscle dystrophy with muscle weakness, nearsightedness, glaucoma or brain abnormalities. Muscle eye brain disease is caused by a gene mutation. The long-term prognosis varies depending on the seriousness of the disease.
Ocular myositis is a condition in which there is inflammation of different ocular muscles. A 2007 study conducted by Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, states that ocular myositis is a rare condition. Patients could experience muscle involvement, drooping eyelids and swelling of the conjunctiva. This eye muscle disorder can often be treated with corticosteroid therapy.