Saturday, September 10, 2011

Long-Duration Space Flight May Be Injuring Astronauts

The Orlando Sentinel reported on September 7 that long-duration space flight may be causing headaches and blurry vision among some astronauts.

"This condition has led to several members of the Astronaut Corps being medically disqualified from flying again until the condition improves," noted researchers for the National Academies in a report made public Wednesday.

The affliction, known as papilledema, is a swelling of the optic disk and can cause blurred vision, blind spots or — in severe cases — loss of vision. It was found in nearly half — seven of 15 — astronauts examined in one study by NASA.

This included "some lingering substantial effects on vision," and astronauts were "not always able to re-qualify for subsequent flights," according to the 102-page report, which provided no additional details.

Click here to download the complete report. You will need to provide an e-mail address to download the report for free.

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