Technology

High-tech sleeping bag designed to protect astronauts’ eyesight as experts try to solve problems caused by microgravity

HIGH-tech sleeping bags can prevent vision problems that astronauts often experience during long-duration space missions.

The new invention aims to reduce the pressure that builds up behind the eyes when a person is in low gravity for a long time.

Researchers aim to reduce pressure on eyes caused by microgravity

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Researchers aim to reduce pressure on eyes caused by microgravityCredit: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Solving eye problems is important for longer space missions

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Solving eye problems is important for longer space missionsCredit: Handout – Getty

Astronauts deal with this microgravity while in space, and it can lead to something known as cosmic light-related neural eye syndrome (SANS).

This syndrome is caused by too much fluid behind the eye due to microgravity; the fluid “squeezes against the back of the eye” and can change its shape.

The new sleeping bag, described by the researchers in a December issue of JAMA Opthalmologyaims to solve this problem by putting pressure on the lower body.

To test their product, the researchers used the device to create lower body negative pressure (LBNP) for people in low-gravity situations.

The results suggest that “nightly LBNP may be an effective countermeasure against the early signs of ocular remodeling associated with space-related neuroleptic eye syndrome.”

SANS allows astronauts to see further, and the pressure can also cause the optic nerve of the eye to swell, so this is an important problem to solve for longer space missions.

A task that lasts more than a year can lead to serious vision problems.

The sleeping bag looks almost like a cone and has a seal that can fit snugly on an astronaut’s belt.

According to the researchers, the idea for the device came from a technique that scientists use to study blood pressure.

Small-scale studies show promising results in protecting human eyes, but this product has yet to be tested in space.

Astronauts smile after docking at the International Space Station in November 2021

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Astronauts smile after docking at the International Space Station in November 2021Credit: AFP

https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4626876/sleeping-bag-protect-astronaut-eyes-in-space/ High-tech sleeping bag designed to protect astronauts’ eyesight as experts try to solve problems caused by microgravity

TaraSubramaniam

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