25 January 2020
During prolonged space-flight, astronauts can sometimes develop a condition known as spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome or SANS. It can involve optic disc oedema, choroidal thickening and folding, globe flattening and consequent shifts in refractive error.
NASA closely monitors the eyes of its astronauts both before, during and after missions to assess for these changes. Since the eye is only around 24mm size, and the part of the eye that is light-sensitive is only 0.5mm thick, the machinery NASA uses for this needs to be incredibly sensitive to small structural changes. On the International Space Station, the piece of equipment that takes these measurements is the Heidelberg Spectralis – the very same OCT used at Innovative Eye Care.
While we might not be monitoring astronauts during spaceflight, the signs of SANS and other equally small ocular changes can occur in the everyday person. In many conditions, its important that these signs be recognised early for a more promising outcome. That’s why we use state-of-the-art Heidelberg equipment. We know that no matter your occupation and lifestyle – astronaut or otherwise – your eyes and your vision are extremely important. The better our technology, the more easily we can detect any structural problem in your eyes, and the better equipped we are to prevent progression of these problems.