Is Virtual Reality Bad for You?

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Photo: mangpor2004 (Shutterstock) – Before you put on your virtual reality headset, think about these potential health risks. Some academics and industry watchers are worried that regular use of virtual reality technology may bring health hazards, such as eyestrain, migraines, and falls. As of now, we know very little about the long-term health effects of virtual reality (VR) games.

Is virtual reality harmful to your vision?

Virtual reality has apparent health hazards. By obscuring your peripheral vision, virtual reality headsets make it easier to trip over items or dogs that have strayed into your field of vision. But other health hazards might develop over time and become apparent to users. VR-induced eyestrain and long-term eye-brain connections are concerns for some eye physicians, for example.

For those who spend too much time in front of the computer, they may suffer from digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome) (CVS). Consistent VR usage may cause CVS and its accompanying symptoms, such as headache and visual exhaustion, since the LCD displays on VR headsets are not specifically designed to prevent digital eye strain (DEF). The good news is that CVS may be prevented by taking regular breaks from screens and by using special glasses designed to lessen digital eye strain.

Since each of your eyes has its own screen only millimeters away from your face, VR displays vary significantly from traditional LCD panels in this regard. The “vergence-accommodation conflict”—visuals that deceive the eye into thinking something near is far away—can be exacerbated by this double-screen arrangement. Viewer weariness and visual discomfort have been shown to be exacerbated by the disagreement. Constant headaches and nausea may also be experienced by some individuals. Conflict may lead to long-term eyesight impairment.

VR-related eye issues are most common in children, whose eyes and eye-brain connections have not yet completely matured. Ophthalmology expert Martin Banks said that youngsters who spend too much time in virtual reality are at danger of acquiring disorders such as myopia or nearsightedness, CNN reported.

Negative impacts of virtual reality gaming when one is ill or wounded

It’s possible that virtual reality (VR) gaming is dangerous or just uncomfortable for those with certain health issues, such as illness, injury, or a predisposition to suffer motion sickness.

At GDC, a renowned video game developer conference that Tina Amini attended while recuperating from a concussion—an ailment that may induce a variety of symptoms, including balance and eye movement abnormalities and lack of coordination—Amini demoed virtual reality games.

Concussion symptoms, such as motion sickness, might be exacerbated by gaming in virtual reality, according to Amini. Studies and medical papers are progressively validating and clarifying tales like this one.

If you are pregnant, old, or have pre-existing diseases that may influence your virtual reality experience such as eye problems, psychological disorders, heart ailments, or other major medical concerns, most VR systems recommend consulting to a doctor before using VR before using it. The user may have seizures or blackouts even if they have no prior medical history, according to some cautions.

People with mental health issues may find it challenging to control their emotions while they are immersed in virtual reality (VR). Users recovering from diseases including sinus infections, headaches, eye difficulties, gastrointestinal disorders, or even a cold may be hampered by using virtual reality. VR has the potential to disrupt the physical homeostasis necessary for a full recovery in these types of situations.

A more painful recuperation process may be caused by virtual reality gaming, even if no long-term harm is done to healthy persons.

Is it possible that virtual reality (VR) might aid in the improvement of one’s health?

Jeremy Bailenson, Stanford University’s founding head of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab, is more upbeat about the benefits of VR. According to a podcast produced by the MIT Press, he thinks that virtual reality (VR) has the ability to improve our health by erasing the distinction between the digital and physical worlds. In the near future, virtual reality (VR) may allow people to engage with virtual meals in a way that reduces their appetite and makes them feel fuller.

Virtual reality’s medicinal uses are likewise being increasingly studied. A broad range of scientific applications, including balance training and mental health programs, have been tested in VR experiments.

Is it safe to use VR? Even while some research shows virtual reality gaming has some slight hazards, there have been no reports of any major negative effects. The long-term health effects of virtual reality (VR) are unknown at this time. Owners of virtual reality headsets should take frequent rests while gaming.