Virtual Reality Sickness – Nausea Prevention

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Virtual reality sickness, nausea, also known as cyber-sickness, can often happen when in a virtual environment.

With virtual reality sickness you can experience symptoms very similar to motion sickness, including, discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, and apathy. Virtual reality sickness is different from motion sickness, because it can be caused by a moving image, rather than actual motion itself. Virtual reality sickness can be best categorized in disorientation.
People vary in their susceptibility to virtual reality sickness, some based on age, experience, even gender and ethnicity.

Listed below are the factors:

Age: Most common ages to actively experience motion sickness is from 2-12. After this is decreases rapidly until the age of 21, and continues to decrease slowly after that. Studies show that it could be similar with virtual reality sickness, however it has begun to show that adults over the age of 50 are more susceptible than younger adults to virtual reality sickness.

Ethnicity: Asiatic people may be more likely to experience motion sickness, as well as Chinese women, Tibetans, and Northeast Indians. These ethnicities more so than European-Americans, African American women, or Caucasian people. This is guessed to be the same for virtual reality sickness, since susceptibility to motion sickness predicts susceptibility to virtual reality sickness.

Experience with the system: Users seem to become less likely to develop virtual reality sickness when they use a VR system more and more. Adaptation may occur as quickly as the second use to the VR system.

Gender: Women are more likely than men to feel virtual reality sickness. This could be caused by hormonal differences; it may also be because women have a wider field of view than men.

Health: The likeliness of virtual reality sickness seems to in people who are not in their best state of health, which suggests virtual reality is not suitable for those who are ill. This includes people who are fatigued; have not had enough to sleep, are nauseated, or have an upper respiratory problem, ear trouble, or flu.

Mental Rotation Ability: better mental rotation ability seems to reduce likeliness to virtual reality sickness, suggesting that training in mental rotation may reduce virtual reality sickness in certain users.

Motion Sickness Sensitivity: People who are more sensitive to motion sickness tend to be more sensitive to virtual reality sickness as well.

Latency: Current Virtual Reality just can’t match our natural experiences, real life doesn’t have much lag. The human body would react in the same way as it id had been poisoned (in fact alcohol is a poison..). When it’s senses aren’t reporting normally it purges the stomach as a reflex to prevent further/additional poisoning from whatever was consumed.

VR can trick the visual part of the brain into believing something that isn’t backed up by the other senses. When this reaches whatever tolerance is in your brain you start to feel sick.

Ways to Prevent Virtual Reality Sickness:

*Not every point will apply to everyone, people are individuals with individual mindsets*

When you turn in a game, lock your eyes on one point: Our eyes are not parallel to our body rotation in real life, meaning our eyes do not follow the way our body turn. We could be looking north, and turning east, so why would this change in virtual reality? Our brain automatically looks the direction we are turning when wearing a headset, so a simple, possible, solution would be to focus on one point while turning.

Take Breaks: When watching videos, playing games, or anything else you choose to do, time passes pretty quickly. This is a way to reduce sickness, just take a break!
Stare at the horizon: When you experience sea sickness, you can stare at the horizon for a couple minutes and it can put you at ease. Virtual reality sickness can also be tricked into ease, simply stare at a wall or certain spot that has no movement to remind your brain you are not actually moving.

Chew Gum: Keeping your jaw active may allow you to view Virtual Reality for longer. It is thought that the repetitive motion of your jaw moving up and down can help relieve some symptoms of virtual reality sickness.

Take deep breathes: No matter how exciting the game or the video, a great way to try to control virtual reality sickness is to control your breathing. The faster you start to breathe, the more light-headed you get, thus influencing the level of virtual reality sickness much more.

Spend less time in virtual reality, and more time outside: Take a break, set a time once a week or even once a day that you walk outside and do something that involves being mobile. Also set a time of the day or week to use your virtual reality headsets.

*everything in this article WILL NOT apply to everyone. Every person is different and nothing will be the same for every person.*

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