Video: The effects of weightlessness on vision

Here’s a new video in a NASA series about research on the Int. Space Station. This entry focuses, so to speak, on the effects of weightlessness on human vision:

From the caption:

Every month on StationLIFE, we’ll focus on a scientific area where the International Space Station is conducting groundbreaking research. This month, astronaut Tracy Dyson talks about a unique challenge to humans flying in space: vision impairment.

Even after 50 years of human spaceflight, we are still exploring the effects microgravity can have on human health. In recent years, a new trend was identified: some International Space Station astronauts reported vision degradation during spaceflight. Research has identified a possible link between vision impairment and the increased intracranial pressure caused by shifts in bodily fluids from the lower extremities to the upper part of the body in microgravity. This is an area of intense interest aboard ISS, with implications for future exploration missions.

There is also an Earth benefit to the vision research aboard the space station; these studies provide insight into structural changes that can occur in the eyes and nervous system, which could be relevant for patients suffering from a wide range of ocular diseases such as glaucoma. It also provides data that could be used to help patients suffering from brain diseases, such as hydrocephalus and high blood pressure in the brain.