If you are one of those lucky people who got a VR headset, you really must be enjoying the immersive experience while playing VR games which we have always been waiting for ever since Oculus started making their Rift headsets for developers.
Recently, Oculus and HTC released their highly anticipated Rift and Vive VR headsets for consumers and they have been met with high enthusiasm and positive reviews (do read our HTC Vive and Oculus Rift reviews).
The main thing about these headsets is that many people are not accustomed to the stress they can get on their eyes while wearing them and these headsets can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea if worn for prolonged periods of time. So here are 5 things you can do to prevent VR causing headaches:
Solution 1 – Take a Break Every Few Minutes
Just like how you are told to take a break from using the computer or playing video games for too long, you should take a break from using a VR headset from time to time. If you want to play games on your VR headset, make sure you take a break for 5 minutes after every 20 to 25 minutes. By doing this, it won’t cause too much fatigue on your eyes and you will be able to rest them from further stress, reducing VR causing headaches.
Solution 2 – Don’t Move Your Eyes Too Much
When you are driving a car or riding a bike, you always look straight and never look here or there or else you can get your vehicle hit. Same is with a VR headset. Whenever you are using a VR headset always look straight and don’t look at any other object especially when there is a fast paced animation or there are a lot of moving objects.
When you look here and there in a VR headset, you are more likely to get motion sickness and if you keep doing that, you will surely get severe headaches along with dizziness and nausea. Another example of this is 3D movies, not related to VR but when you watch 3D movies in a theatre with big screens like in IMAX, you should not look everywhere on the screen which can cause headaches.
Make sure you keep your eyes fixed to the middle of the screens so that you can prevent VR causing headaches.
Solution 3 – Adjust the Lens of Your VR Headset
When the Samsung Gear VR came out, many people complained about not seeing clearly and also the image not being in focus. Well, that’s because you need to adjust or calibrate the lens of your VR headset to what your eyes are accustomed to. If the lens is calibrated to something other than what your eyes are used to, the image you see in your VR headset may appear blurry. When you keep looking at a blurry image, you are sure to get a headache.
It can be explained through this, if you don’t wear glasses and you try out someone’s glasses, you will start to see blurry when you are wearing them. We know that when we wear glasses like this we will get a headache because your eyes are not able to cope with the glasses. Same thing applies to VR headsets.
The VR headsets released recently have the ability to adjust the lens for those who wear glasses and don’t. On the HTC Vive, there are dials where the head-straps are attached to the headsets. On the Oculus Rift, there is an adjustment mechanism on the underside of the headset.
Solution 4 – Don’t Move Too Much While Playing
When you are playing games on your VR headset, don’t move too much. Just like how we explained in our article “How to Deal with VR Sickness” , if you move too much you will you are more likely to get dizzy. So following “Solution 2”, keep looking at one fixed point, only move when you want to and move slowly so reduce the strain on your eyes and VR causing headaches.
Solution 5 – Upgrade your PC
To make the VR experience more immersive, the screens inside a VR headset have a refresh rate of 90 Hz and the games should run on 60 FPS or 90 FPS or higher. If you image 60 FPS or higher, the video output looks very life like and that’s the purpose of VR, to make a VR game very immersive so that it looks life like.
The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift require a PC with a NVIDIA GTX 970 graphics card, 8 GB of RAM and an Intel Core-i5 processor or higher. So, if you have a PC with lesser specifications than the ones mentioned, your PC won’t be able to render life like images. On a VR headset, lower frames don’t look life like and you are more prone to VR causing headaches due to that.
So make sure you upgrade your PC hardware or you can wait until the NVIDIA Pascal series graphics cards are released. Do read more about them in this article.
These were 5 things you can do to prevent VR causing headaches. Hope this helped you if you have a VR headset and you get headaches frequently while using them. Always take good care of yourself when using a VR headset since this is a relatively new technology and they are not entirely designed to avoid headaches and sickness caused by VR.