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News2000December › Swimming goggles are an eye opener › December 2000

Swimming goggles are an eye opener

Apraxia of eyelid opening, or ALO, is medical speak for the very rare condition where people lose the ability to open their eyes

Apraxia of eyelid opening, or ALO, is medical speak for the very rare condition where people lose the ability to open their eyes. It's sometimes associated with Parkinson's, and it's a condition that has the medical world stumped.

That is until recently. A 69 year old woman in Japan, who had been unable to open her eyes for most of the five years she's suffered from Parkinson's, found that her eyes would stay open when she wore skiing goggles. She experimented further and found that swimming goggles also did the trick. Doctors at the Fukui Medical University in Japan tried it on another patient withsimilarly successful results.

Quite why it works has baffled the doctors, but it could do with the fact that the wearer can't shut her eyes even if she wanted to (Lancet, 2000; 356: 1413).


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