Do VR Headsets Damage Vision?

In the last few years, VR headsets and the introduction of the innovative technology of virtual reality have been taking over. If you’re anything like us you are concerned about wearing one of these headsets for long durations and whether or not these VR headsets damage to vision.

What is VR

VR (Virtual reality) is a computer-simulated experience that can be similar or completely different to the real world. VR is an extremely versatile tool and is now often seen being  used in education, entertainment and business. However, new applications are regularly emerging due to advancements in technology. Essentially through the use of sensory stimulation this technology ‘tricks’ the eyes and brain to perceive the virtual environment to be reality.

VR headsets damage vision

VR’s effects on your eyes

Due to the recent introduction of VR headsets, the effects long term are still to be discovered. However, studies have found that staring too long at a VR screen can lead to eye strain and fatigue. This comes back to the fact that we tend to blink much less when using a device with a digital screen.

Motion sickness is also extremely common among early VR headsets. This has led to trouble focusing with your eyes, headaches, lightheadedness, nausea and even vomiting. However, as the refresh rates and pixel density increased the hazy image that we saw was dramatically improved.

The issue isn’t with the screens being so close to the eyes; as you might have thought. Instead, it’s that we’re not allowing the muscles in our eyes to relax, causing us to strain them.

What Oculus says about VR headsets and vision

Oculus, the largest manufacturer of VR technology states in its handbook that 1 in 4000 may suffer from”dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching.” It recommends to users suffering with these symptoms, to discontinue using the headset and see a doctor.

Oculus also said that the reaction is more common in children and young people. They recommend that anyone experiencing these symptoms should take off the headset and visit a doctor.

What we recommend

Here at Focus Medical Eye Centre, we recommend that you take regular breaks when you’re using the headset for extended periods of time. In many blogs, we talk about the 20-20-20 rule, which you can read about here. It describes an excellent method that helps prevent eye strain whilst using digital screens.

If you have suffered from eye strain or have developed a new condition since using a VR headset we do recommend that you seek advice directly from a professional.

We’re an award-winning local opticians based in Hailsham, East Sussex, so if you’re in the area and want an eye test, or have any questions about the health of your eyes, then please call in and see us!

If you’d like to book an appointment with us, click here, or call us on 01323 442 062.





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