Virtual Reality is an amazing tool. It is an immersive and potentially additive interface which is one of the reasons it has become so famous in the last one year.
There are hundreds of different brands selling headsets in the market today, making the technology very affordable. But there is one major problem with this technology. It can cause quite a few health issues in many people. Although none of them are permanent and most of them go away as soon as you take away the headset, some problems may take a few hours or at times, even days before they subside.
The VR companies are in the forefront of trying to break through this problem and, have issued strict safety guidelines which minimise the risk of using VR headsets.
So what could go wrong with VR experience?
Some users report feeling nausea within minutes of starting a VR experience. The symptoms may persist for hours even after taking off the headset. They may experience a headache, vomiting dizziness and lack of balance.
If you are prone to seasickness when travelling on a boat, you are likely to be affected by nausea when using VR. If you are really keen to play a game, take Dramamine tablet at least 45 minutes before you play.
If the inter-pupillary distance is not properly set up, users may feel a lack of balance and experience vertigo. Most good VR headsets allow you to set the distance between the two lenses and also allow you to modify the focal length. Spending a few minutes in setting up your VR headset correctly will help you reduce chances of vertigo and eye strain.
Once you finish your first run at VR experience, it is best to sit down for a few minutes and then remove the headset. You may feel disoriented, lack balance judgement and even temporarily lack spatial awareness. As you slowly get back to reality, your brain will readjust. So don’t be in a hurry after you finish a game. Sit down for at least 15-20 minutes before you do anything that requires muscle-eye coordination.
While VR succeeds in fooling your visual sense into believing the simulated world is real, your brain still gets mixed signals from your inner ear about balance and it will cause motion sickness. You may experience nausea like effects for a while. So it is best to not move around too much after you take off your headset.