Space Travel Could Make You Go Blind

By Josh Tyler | 9 years ago

Here’s something you might want to consider before booking a vacation on the International Space Station: Weightlessness might make you go blind.

There’s no shortage of obstacles to human space travel. Whether it’s dealing with radiation or finding ways to live in a vacuum, humanity has found ways to deal. But this latest development may be more of a problem. Word is that scans of astronauts spending extensive time at the International Space Station are revealing extensive damage to their eyeballs and brain tissue.

27 Astronauts who have spent more than thirty days in space were examined by NASA and their researchers found damage in a large percentage of them, much of it related to sight. Medical Daily says “nine of them had expansion of the cerebral spinal fluid space surrounding the optic nerve, six had flattening of the rear of the eyeball, four had bulging of the optic nerve, and three had changes in the pituitary gland.”

As a result, astronauts returning home from space often find they have trouble focusing their eyes properly. Individuals who go in to space with 20/20 vision often suddenly need glasses when they get back to Earth.

While nearly 60 percent of all astronauts report health problems after spending an extended amount of time in space, at least 40 percent seem to be completely immune. No one knows exactly why some remain completely unaffected, but their immunity could be the key to solving this latest obstacle to exploring the cosmos.