Bingley man uses botox to help control eyelid movement – Telegraph and Argus


A BRADFORD district man has to have regular botox treatment after he lost control of his eyelid movement.
Robert Graham, 66, of Bingley, saw his life change eight years ago when he blinked in the morning sunshine and his eyelids remained closed.
The condition progressed to him not being able to see while walking, having to give up driving, stop reading and sit through meetings with his eyes closed.
He is now dependent on regular botox injections from a specialist eye hospital, Optegra, to help control his eye movements.
Mr Graham said: “This problem hit me out of the blue – I have never had any difficulty with my eyes and still have extremely good eyesight.
“I had got off the train in Leeds and was walking along the main road. The sun was coming up at the end of the road and when I looked that way, my eyelids closed. However much I tried, they would not open again.
“It was such an unusual feeling. I tried pushing them and forcing the lids open and eventually, when walking in the shade, my eyes re-opened.
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Robert Gram, third from left, with his family Robert Gram, third from left, with his family
“I could only keep my eyes open for a fraction of a second at a time, enough to see where I was and enable me to walk for the next five seconds with my eyes closed.”
Mr Graham went to see his GP, who gave him eye drops to see if the problem was caused by dry eyes. This made no difference, so he asked to be referred to a specialist.
He added: “I was almost completely blind. I bought numerous pairs of sunglasses and goggles to protect my eyes from any air movement, which seemed to trigger the eyelids to close.
“This helped marginally but as my eyes became increasingly tired throughout the day they would close for longer periods of time.”
Mr Graham was referred to Professor Bernie Chang at Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire. He said: “The best course of action is to relax the facial muscle. Using these techniques alongside the botox means I can relax my whole face and therefore control my eye movements. I have to constantly remind myself to do this.
“I am learning to manage my condition and I am largely functional.
“It does make everyday actions more challenging and even though I have perfect eyesight, it’s a constant drain on my eyes. However, rather than being a disability, it is now more of a nuisance.”
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