Chicago Cornea Consultants Logo

Outer Space Challenges Ophthalmologists To Think Out Of This Orbit

The space age has brought a lot of new technology to the planet Earth that we now use commonly every day.

Outer space is full of dangers that astronauts must trust in technology to overcome. As it stands right now though, astronauts remain vulnerable to the many of the dangers of outer space. Traveling in space for extended periods of time causes the human body to change; for instance, bones lose minerals and muscles begin to atrophy. Evidence even suggests that long durations of spaceflight can also have an effect on astronauts’ ocular health and brain health.

Ocular Changes

Not long ago NASA conducted a survey on returning astronauts’ vision and what was discovered raised concerns regarding astronaut ocular health. 300 astronauts were selected to partake in the survey and nearly 23 percent of short-flight and 49 percent of long-flight astronauts had problems with nearsightedness and farsightedness during their space missions. Many of those affected by vision problems in space continued to have issues longer after their return to Earth.

Another survey conducted in 2013, helped researchers determine that astronauts may suffer major changes in their eye structure and gene expression in as little as two weeks of travel in space. It is theorized that the high-energy radiation from the sun and low-gravity conditions of outer space, create oxidative stress in the retina.

A NASA-sponsored study found that seven astronauts who spent six months or longer in space all had vision and eye anatomy irregularities. These changes include flattening of the back of the eyeball and changes in the retina and optic nerve.

Other studies conducted by NASA on astronauts who had long-term exposure to outer space in missions six months or longer found that all of them suffered from vision and eye anatomy irregularities. Doctors found that these astronauts suffered from a multitude of vision problems including: flattening of the back of the eyeball, folding of the choroid (vascular tissue behind the retina), excess fluid around and presumed swelling of the optic nerve, or some combination of these ailments.

The Future of Space Flight

Being an astronaut requires a lot of attention to detail and the ability to function with precision, making your ability to see clearly very important. Having an astronauts vision deteriorate after only two weeks in space is incredibly detrimental to not only their health, but their capabilities to perform routine mission tasks precisely. With the goal of having astronauts on Mars in the next 10 years, these issues with vision deterioration will need to be addressed if astronauts are to function at optimal levels and return home with healthy vision.

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
Woman going for a run after LASIK
Laser Eye Surgery
As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we were among the first in the area to offer the advanced Alcon LenSx laser platform for cataract surgery. This exciting new technology allows our skilled ophthalmologists to make incredibly precise modifications, enhancing the patient experience.
Elderly couple relaxing after Cataract Surgery
Advanced Cataract
Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses for clear reading vision. It's a condition not even correctable by laser vision correction. Luckily, there is an option. Refractive lens exchange allows patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens.
Refractive Lens Exchange
refractive lens
exchange/phakic iol's
Keratoconus describes a cornea that weakens as collagen fibers deteriorate, causing the cornea to adapt a cone-like shape. Keratoconus can cause blurred vision, light sensitivity, glares, and decreased night vision. In its early stages, keratoconus may be treated with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Keratoconus is also one of the most common reasons for corneal transplant, and one of the most successful. Call any of our offices and ask to speak to the Vision Correction Surgical Coordinator, or use the contact form below.
Closeup of the Cornea
It's estimated that a million or more Americans have glaucoma and don't even know it. People with glaucoma often do not experience any symptoms until they begin losing their peripheral vision. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it usually has no symptoms in the early stages, earning glaucoma the name "silent thief of sight." Anyone can be at risk, so it's important to have your vision regularly examined.
Elderly couple smiling after Glaucoma treatment
At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our doctors take great care in maintaining ocular health for our patients. However, a number of our patients voice concerns regarding soft lines and wrinkles around the eyes and other regions of the face. We have responded by introducing cosmetic procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic through our Chicago practice.
Woman posing after BOTOX
Dry eye can result from a lack of sufficient production of your own natural tears, with an inability to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. This can cause mild to severe discomfort including itching, stinging and burning. Dry eyes are a common concern in Chicago, and the experienced team of corneal specialists at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ have the latest advancements in technology to treat dry eye.
older woman smiling
Dry Eye
Contact lenses are medical devices which interact directly with the ocular surface of the eye. At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, we provide exceptional care to ensure that you obtain the best possible vision with contact lenses that fit appropriately and maximize health benefits.
Mature Man Having an Eye Exam
(800) 8-CORNEA
Online Bill Pay Book Now Cataract Self-Test LASIK Self-Test