JAN 16, 2017 12:19 AM PST

Does Space Travel Lead to Vision Impairment?


Space travel is awesome, and sometimes the astronauts that go to space enjoy the experience so much that they really don't want to come back to the boring physics here on Earth. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks to long-term space travel.

One of those problems is vision impairment, which seems to be a common issue for astronauts that spend extended periods of time in space. Now, NASA seems to have an explanation for why this occurs.

As time is spent in space, an astronaut's cerebrospinal fluid, which is the fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord, can multiply in volume, which is generally a good thing in space, but probably isn't so when the astronauts come back to Earth.

All that fluid has to go somewhere, and once an astronaut comes back to Earth, physics tend to push that extra volume towards the eyes, which may flatten the back of the eyeball, changing the shape of the retina and impacting a long-term astronaut's vision in the process.

All that said, if you plan on being an astronaut and spending long periods of time in space, you might expect to have vision problems later on in life...

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 19, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2019
The Universe is So Vast That Even the Speed of Light Seems Insignificant
When astronomers measure the distance between two distant objects in outer space, the term ‘light-year’ gets tossed around somewhat frequently....
NOV 19, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2019
Why a Metal Asteroid Tops NASA's Must-Explore List
Innumerable amounts of asteroids exist in the asteroid belt that resides between Mars and Jupiter in orbit around the Sun, but one specimen in particular a...
NOV 19, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 19, 2019
Hidden Cameras Capture Birds Stealing Shiny Things
It’s no secret that some birds like to collect shiny things. In the case of the humble bowerbird, males often build impressive twig structures and th...
NOV 19, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 19, 2019
The Great Barrier Reef is Disappearing, and Here's Why
Most people think of the Great Barrier Reef as a single, massive coral reef off the coast of Australia, but it isn’t. Instead, this beautiful underwa...
NOV 19, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 19, 2019
Diagnosed With Atopic Dermatitis?
Eczema, dermatitis, atopic dermatitis: all names for the same disease of the skin. Although common in children during the first year of life, the condition...
NOV 19, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 19, 2019
11,000 Scientists Agree-The Climate Crisis is Here
A worldwide coalition of more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries warns "clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergen...
Loading Comments...