Can VR hurt your eyes?

We are entering the amazing world of virtual reality slowly. The number of VR headsets has increased massively in the last six months, helping expand the influence of these gadgets beyond gamers. With the introduction of standalone headsets like Oculus Go and Lenovo Mirage Solo, anybody can get started on their VR experience without the need for a gaming PC or a gaming console.

 The new and improved technology of virtual reality brings along with it a few questions related to the health of your eyes. It is not uncommon for VR users to feel motion sickness or nausea after a few minutes in the simulated world.

 Because of this common experience, many people wonder if VR can hurt our eyes and if there are any long-term side effects.

Many universities and VR companies are conducting research about the long-term health impact of Virtual reality. It will probably take a couple of years to get the results. Meanwhile, there are a few health challenges that pop up due to improper usage of VR.

We will try to list the problem and best way to solve it.

  1. Nausea: Even mild usage of VR headset causes nausea in certain users. This can be avoided by taking a lot of breaks in between your VR adventure. Another tip is to reduce the speed of your character in the game/adventure. Instead of moving your head swiftly, move slow. Calibrating the lenses specifically for your eye also helps reduce nausea. Another neat trick is to have a fan blow air on your face while you play the game. No one knows why it works, but this simple trick has helped hundreds reduce nausea while playing with VR.
  2. Motion Sickness: People using VR experience motion sickness because the brain is getting signals of movement when the body is still. Even if you stop playing with VR, you may continue to experience the symptoms. People who get seasick are very likely to suffer from VR motion sickness as well. To avoid this problem, limit your first exposure to a few minutes at a time. Build your tolerance slowly. As a precaution, you can also take a Dramamine or other anti seas sickness tablets.
  3. Vomiting: If you feel like puking after putting on the VR headset, try having ginger tea or a ginger supplement an hour before your VR game.
  4. Tired eyes: if your eyes feel too tired after playing VR games and cannot get to sleep, it’s possibly because of HEV. Reduce the brightness and contrast in your settings and this problem will reduce. If you continue to play with high brightness, your eyes will suffer permanent damage. It is also important to check your VR headset is protected against blue light. Check the documentation to see if you can turn it off or if it filtered by the lens.

Most of the problems highlighted above have to do with the eyes in one way or another. So take the suggested precautions and you can avoid damaging your eyes in the long run.

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