Virtual reality is one of the hottest technology trends, and it’s only expected to grow bigger. Thanks to VR technology, you can be transported to an entirely new world without ever leaving your couch. From battlefields and outer space, to deep sea diving, nothing is out of reach with a virtual reality headset. However, what people are not considering is the effect this technology may have on their eyes. We need to be asking whether or not this 3D experience is safe for your vision.
At the moment, we have no long-term research on how virtual reality impacts eyesight. But, there are a few things we do know that could shed light on how you should use virtual reality glasses in the meantime. Let’s explore.
Increased Eye Strain and Fatigue
Anytime you look at a device for an extended period of time, you’re straining your eyes. This happens because you tend to blink less than you normally do, drying out the surface of your eye and causing it to feel fatigued. Even though eye strain is temporary and won’t cause permanent damage, it’s uncomfortable for the time being. Symptoms may even extend to light sensitivity or blurred vision.
Possible Dizziness and Motion Sickness
Some VR users find that when they wear 3D gear, they end up feeling dizzy and sick, similar to motion sickness. These symptoms make sense, considering that the brain receives the same signals when looking at a moving picture as it would if you were actually moving. So, if you’re on a rollercoaster or racing a vehicle on a virtual reality headset, you’re likely to experience motion sickness, just as you would in real life.
Complications with Current Eye Problems
If you have existing eye conditions such as Amblyopia, Strabismus, or any other problems related to depth perception or difficulty focusing, the VR experience can amplify your symptoms. Compared to the average person, you may notice that you experience more headaches and eye strain when wearing VR glasses.
What’s the Verdict? Are Virtual Reality Glasses Safe?
At this time, it appears that wearing virtual reality glasses does not interfere with eye development or eye health. Manufacturers often label their glasses as being not suitable for children under 12 or 13, but this has more to do with the size of the headset and the content that the child may be viewing.
That said, everything is best in moderation. VR gear does have a tendency to cause eye strain and dizziness, so you’re best off limiting the time that you or your child wears the glasses. If you do feel fatigued, be sure to practice one of these eye strain exercises that will relax the eyes in no time!