Can Virtual Reality damage your health?


Courtesy of Forbes

Kaitlyn Berg

Virtual Reality headsets do have the potential to damage your health, but does that mean you should stop playing altogether? The simple answer is you can possibly not experience any health problems after playing on your headset by being cautious while playing. Since everyone is different, they can experience different symptoms or none at all. So, it’s always important to be aware and cautious.

Symptoms people have experienced after playing are; loss of spatial awareness, dizziness and disorientation, seizures, nausea, motion sickness, eye soreness, and trouble focussing. According to CNN, “Playing VR without supervision and in a crowded space is risky business.” This also brings up another problem, while you’re on the VR you’re also blind to your surroundings. This makes it possible to trip, or hurt the things around you. However, this situation is perfectly avoidable. Before playing move everything around you out of your playing space so there’s nothing you could possibly trip on, always have someone within view to tell you if something is wrong, and keep all pets and moving/living things away from you.

The creators of the most popular VR headsets, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive recommend taking, “ least a 10 to 15 minute break every 30 minutes, even if you think you don’t need it.” This is perfect advice even for people who have never experienced any symptoms, since it’s always better to be safer than sorry. Health problems could also appear gradually, so it’s important to seek help right away if you notice any changes.
You should always be cautious and aware of these things while playing to avoid the consequences. However, at the end of the day, VR headsets are supposed to be enjoyable so don’t be scared of facing these health issues, just take a break every 30 minutes and don’t push yourself. Also, be cautious since these health issues could also appear gradually, so if your vision seems off go to an optometrist don’t hesitate to seek help.

7th grader Kamilla Basyrova when asked about this topic said, “VR headsets are so much fun and I’ve never experienced any symptoms, but I still think people should be careful while using them.” When asked about this topic 7th grader, Evan Conrad said, “I did get a slight headache after using it, but it’s still really fun and I would just advise people to just be careful.”