Research done in 2020 indicate that an estimated 52.1 million Americans are using VR headsets for different purposes. While these devices are useful in other applications, such as military and medical training, they’re also used for digital entertainment like video games and interactive experiences.
Since these devices are becoming more common, people are also starting to wonder if they are harmful to the eyes. Continue reading as Eyes on Norbeck discusses the impact of VR headsets on the eyes.
What Is VR?
VR stands for virtual reality, and VR headsets allow people to experience a virtual world by having lenses and screens placed directly in front of their eyes. The visual information provided by these devices creates a quasi-environment that users can enter and interact with. Combined with audio and controller equipment, they offer a very immersive experience.
Can VR Headsets Harm Your Eyes?
The short answer is yes. However, users that limit their usage of the device have a low risk of developing issues. As long as you follow the instructions on how to properly use the device and how long you can use it, your eyes should be fine.
That said, continuous use of VR headsets for long periods can lead to eye discomfort, eye fatigue and other symptoms. The most common effect of VR headsets, especially among first-time users, is cybersickness — a feeling of disorientation due to how the devices work. Cybersickness often causes symptoms like headaches, lightheadedness and nausea.
How to Deal With Cybersickness and Other Effects of VR Headsets
Cybersickness and other common effects of VR use are visually induced conditions, so the best way to deal with them is to get used to the VR environment while limiting VR headset use. If you have an eye condition or a history of motion sickness, it’s best to take it slowly and be extra careful since you’re more vulnerable to cybersickness.
Eyes on Norbeck is an eye care specialist that focuses on providing each client with quality services. We make it our main objective to address the concerns of our patients and educate them on what actions to take to maintain and improve their eye health. To schedule a consultation, call us at (301) 238-7199 or fill out our contact form.