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Astronauts on space missions should start wearing swimming goggles to prevent the affect of weightlessness on their sight, according to new research from NASA.
Astronauts on long missions at the International Space Station often experience changes to their eyes that can last for years, including impaired vision.
Scientists - Goggles - Pressure - Eyes - Problem
Scientists have found that wearing goggles that create mild pressure around the eyes can counteract the problem, caused by a drop in pressure inside the eye.
These could be swimming goggles or the type of safety glasses commonly worn by sportsman and constructors.
Cent - Astronauts - Changes - Eyes - Sharpness
Up to 75 per cent of astronauts develop changes to their eyes, including decreased visual sharpness.
Many astronauts experience poorer sight - some leave on missions with perfect site yet return needing glasses.
Phenomenon - Condition - Space - Syndrome - SANS
This phenomenon, a medical condition known as Space flight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS), is caused by the lack of gravity in space which reduces the fluid pressure inside the eyes.
In a new study, scientists showed that by giving astronauts safety glasses, like those worn in snow sports, protected vision by boosting the pressure of fluid inside the eye known as Intraocular pressure (IOP).
SANS - Concern - NASA - Symptoms - Spots
SANS is a significant clinical concern at NASA and symptoms include 'cotton wool spots', which are fluffy white spots on the retina, and the swelling of the optic nerve.
This condition is seen in approximately one out of three International Space Station astronauts.
Dr - Jessica - Scott - Universities - Space
Dr Jessica Scott, of the Universities Space Research Association, Houston, explained: ' Swimming goggles firmly compress the skin around the eye.'
'These findings suggest modestly increasing intraocular pressure with swimming goggles could be used to mitigate spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome.
Underpinnings - SANS - Health - Astronauts - Space
'Elucidating the mechanistic underpinnings of SANS is important to protect the health of astronauts and continued human space exploration.'
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