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Epicanthal eye fold?

Discussion in 'Skeleton, Skin, Muscles, Hair, Teeth, and Nails' started by Snow Leopard, May 16, 2010.

  1. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Does anyone else have this as a symptom?

    I'm in my mid-20s and I've had CFS for about 10 years, so this seems to be an unusual symptom.

    This started around 6 weeks ago as part of a mini-relapse (my energy usually goes up and down anyway due to energy demands studying Science part time at university and sometimes I actually have to go to lectures..).

    My eyelids have previously felt sore after more than usual activity and been very saggy (but normal people get that when they've had very little sleep for a few days too).

    The problem is that the saggyness has become permanent, regardless of how much I rest (two week midterm break, 12h/day sleep) and on the left side of my face, the top eye lid sags over the corner of my eye and is visibly raised to a point below my eye. This is quite normal for east Asian populations of course. But I'm not east Asian and it looks a bit odd just being on one side of my face, spoiling my otherwise good looks. I wouldn't mind so much if it was symmetrical. :cool:

    In non Asian populations it is usually associated with various congenital genetic diseases which clearly don't apply.
  2. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member

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    I've never heard of this but we have lots of strange symptoms.

    It could be a nerve palsy just affecting a small area. As I think about it, I might have heard of something like this being caused by a "draught", presumably like Bell's Palsy but smaller.

    For some years I was bothered often by my eyelids going into spasm and closing with only a small thin line left for me to see through. It could be a variation of that sort of thing. It is a form of dystonia called blepharospasm.

    Like all new symptoms, if it gets worse it could be something else, not the ME/CFS so see about it if you are worried. Though I know that MS has lots of strange little symptoms that are not officially recognised but are there all the same. :Retro smile:

    Mithriel
  3. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    My eyelids are frequently inflamed.
  4. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    i have allergies that make my eyes swell, so yes - i have some saggin that doesn't go away
  5. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    It's one of those symptoms that you should have checked by a doctor, maybe starting with an ophthalmologist. There are lots of things that can cause it, like inflammation or damage to a nerve, allergies, or Bell's palsy. They might want to run a test to rule out myasthenia gravis. Given that people with ME/CFS often develop allegies, that seems a likely cause. By the way, I think they call it ptosis.
  6. bluebell

    bluebell Guest

    My son was born with epicanthal folds and hypotonia. He now has sensory integration disorder, although he doesn't seem to have any other health or cognitive problems. What you describe sounds more like ptosis. I think epicanthal folds are generally present at birth. Ptosis is definitely something you'd want to see a doctor about. Oops, just saw someone already brought up ptosis. I get inflamed eyelids too, so if you have swelling that is causing the droop, I'd bet you are experiencing just another lovely feature of this illness. Good luck.
  7. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    That's what I'm thinking. I did see my local GP a few weeks ago but he didn't really know what could cause it. The eye opening itself (due to the inner eye lid) is more or less normal, it is just the outer eye lid hanging low over the inner eye lid, especially in the corner of the eye. Typical of an epicanthal eye fold.
    There might be mild swelling, but it doesn't really seem red/inflamed. It doesn't really look like the typical pictures on the internet of Ptosis (by various causes) either.

    I don't have any vision problems besides the usual caused by fatigue. My eyesight in general is good. I have had a CT scan just before being diagnosed with CFS, but that was still many years ago.
    I do have other elevated symptoms - sore, enlarged glands in the throat making swallowing more difficult than normal.
  8. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

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    I have this and I know it's from CFS and you're right, extra sleep doesn't help.
  9. HopingSince88

    HopingSince88 Senior Member

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    I have developed this fold over time. I did not have it until my sypmtoms of ME/CFS developed. They seemed to have started at the same time that I got the dark circles and bags under my eyes. When I look in the mirror it seems to me that my eyes have receded some into my head and that the whole eye socket is surrounded by looser skin as a result.
  10. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    This has never struck me as connected to the M.E. before; I have had epicanthal folds since early teens (people used to say I looked Chinese, but now it just looks like encroaching old age) - none of my family have these & I do not have East Asian ancestors.

    Some 'clues' of the illness I can trace back to childhood, such as constant skin crawling sensations, much less energy than my peers and joint pains.
  11. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    I was just reading about mitochondrial myopathies on the muscular dystrophy website and came across something that might relate to this:

    "The main symptoms of mitochondrial myopathy are muscle weakness and wasting, and exercise intolerance. Its important to remember that the severity of any of these symptoms varies greatly from one person to the next, even in the same family.

    "In some individuals, weakness is most prominent in muscles that control movements of the eyes and eyelids. Two common consequences are the gradual paralysis of eye movements, called progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO), and drooping of the upper eyelids, called ptosis. Often, people automatically compensate for PEO by moving their heads to look in different directions, and might not even notice any visual problems. Ptosis is potentially more frustrating because it can impair vision and also cause a listless expression, but it can be corrected by surgery, or by using glasses that have a ptosis crutch to lift the upper eyelids."​

    http://www.mdausa.org/publications/mitochondrial_myopathies.html

    Many ME/CFS researchers have seen evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction in ME/CFS patients, and some have even hypothesized that it might be at the root of the disease (or at least its symptoms). So if ME/CFS causes (or is caused by) mitochondrial dysfunction, it wouldn't be surprising if you had any of the symptoms associated with mitochondrial myopathies, I would think. But I still think you should check with your doctor.

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