Every year more new technology breaks into our daily lives, and we as consumers adapt quickly. Virtual reality devices are an example of this type of phenomenon. These devices are becoming increasingly accessible, especially now that Google has a new more affordable virtual reality headset for mobile phone. As we try to adapt to this new tech trend, we face a specific health concern: nausea.
While the virtual reality trend is new, the reason people fall ill from VR devices is old. It’s actually the same reason we experience sea sickness. One part of your body-- your vestibular system (or inner ear)-- is telling you that you are standing still while another part-- your visual system--recognizes movement. The visual and vestibular systems typically work in tandem to help tell your body where it is in space, but VR devices take away your body’s ability to accurately tell where it is in space, causing a nauseating feeling some of us know too well.
Vestibular System of the Inner Ear
How to Combat VR Sickness
There are various treatments for nausea, and it’s always a good idea to see a doctor about any form of chronic nausea. However, a few quick, at-home treatments should solve any motion sickness stemming from VR devices.
Ginger ale is one of the oldest remedies for nausea. It is important to actually consume a good amount ginger rather than just artificial flavoring, so be cautious about which ginger ale you choose to purchase.
If you choose to take medication for your nausea, try antihistamines. As odd as it may sound, these are often used to control nausea and stomach illness. Most households already have these products, providing a quick and easy fix.
Adapting to VR
All in all, if VR devices become as big of a tech trend as they are expected to, many will be struggling with upset stomachs. VR developers are currently working to come up with a solution to the VR sickness problem, and some believe that restricting the field of view may help. However, more research needs to be done to determine how to successfully prevent queasiness caused by virtual reality.
For more information about nausea including treatments and medications, visit our Nausea Conditions Page.