Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) refers to a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness in a characteristic pattern.
It is useful to explain the words that make up OPMD:
- oculo refers to the fact that the eye muscles (specifically the eyelids) are affected, causing eyelid drooping – also called ‘ptosis’
- pharyngeal refers to the fact that the throat muscles, in particular those related to swallowing, are affected. Difficulty in swallowing is called dysphagia
- muscular dystrophy is a term which usually means the condition is genetic, and causes progressive muscle-wasting and weakness, both of which are true in OPMD.