Astronauts' Health: Researchers Might Found A Way To Prevent The Vision Deterioration Found On Astronauts
One of the major health problems of the astronauts is the deterioration of their vision, especially the ones spending a long period of time in space. Now, a recent research has found the likely cause of the problem and some possible way to prevent it.
The probable cause, according to the researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, is that the astronauts lack of a day-night cycle in intracranial pressure, which is the pressure around the brain.
Consumer Health Day reports that the new study revealed that there is the lack of intracranial pressure in the condition that has zero-gravity. The said gravity is found in space is greater than when people stand or sit on Earth. Moreover, it lowers when people sleep.
The researcher suggested that it might be possible to prevent the problem by using a vacuum device to lower pressure for the part each day.
The study's first author who is also an instructor for internal medicine, Dr. Justin Lawley, said that "Astronauts are basically supine [lying face upward] the entire time they are in space. The idea is that the astronauts would wear negative pressure clothing or a negative pressure device while they sleep. It then creates a lower intracranial pressure for part of each 24 hours," according to Science Daily.
The study also revealed that the vision deterioration is caused by the constant pressure on the back of the eyes. Astronauts having an extended space mission such as the ones boarding the International Space Station are most likely to be affected.
As follows, the senior author of the study, Dr. Benjamin Levine, shared that "the information from these studies is already leading to novel partnerships with companies to develop tools to simulate the upright posture in space while astronauts sleep."
In addition, Dr. Levine, who is also a professor of internal medicine, explained that the goal is to normalize the daily variability in the intracranial pressure and to eliminate the remodeling behind the eye.