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Why space travel is bad for the eyes…

Thursday 05 July 2018

For those considering a quick hop into space, it is our sad duty to report that it may not be the best move for your eyeballs. At least, that is the conclusion drawn by researchers at the University of Houston.

By comparing pre- and post-flight data for space Shuttle astronauts, University of Houston assistant professor Nimesh Patel created custom algorithms which allowed non-invasive analysis of the retina. His test group included 15 astronauts who all had perfect vision prior to flight – in every case there was the same physical deformation of the eye present on return to Earth.

It is not clear why micro-gravity induces these changes, but it has been noted on other space missions. One theory is that shifts in cranial fluid during space flight may be to blame. However, we suspect these marginal changes will not put many off the prospect of space travel.


  1. Digital Trends:
    Prolonged time in space literally changes the structure of astronauts’ eyes..

  2. ScienceDaily:
    Optometrist investigates changes in eye structure in astronauts.


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