How to Deal with VR Sickness

2016 is indeed a very exciting year for tech. First off, VR headsets are finally available to the consumers with the release of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Second, NVIDIA is launching its Pascal based graphics cards for gaming PCs which will make 4K rendering and VR rendering much easier. So, you can see that the most exciting tech this year is VR and it is changing the way we play video games.

Virtual Reality gaming is very exciting because it gives you a whole new experience of playing video games by immersing you within the game worlds and you can perform whatever actions you want in a VR game. Even though it is very exciting, VR often makes people sick due to not being used to the experience it delivers. In this article, we will tell you how to deal with VR sickness and what causes it.

Virtual-reality sickness is not a new problem, it has been in existence for as long as pilots, drivers and astronauts have been practicing in various simulators for their training. The VR sickness people get today is very closely related to simulator sickness and motion sickness. Jorge Serrador, a professor of pharmacology, physiology and neuroscience at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, says that VR sickness is mainly due to the mismatch between the visual and vestibular systems.

What causes VR sickness?

The cause of VR sickness can be explained by the balancing system of the human body. The vestibular system consists of the inner ear which further consists a series of fluid filled canals and chambers. This system includes three semicircular canals lined with hair cells which are projected into the liquid filled canals. As your head moves in any direction, the fluid in these canals also moves which stimulates the hair cells to generate a signal to the brain to tell it in what orientation is your head. Each canal sends different information of the type of motion like up or down, left or right, degree of tilt.

So, when you are playing a VR game, you are looking at a world which is not the world you are in. The fluid in the vestibular system is sending impulses to the brain about the balance of your head and body in the real world whereas you are seeing a virtual world. If the VR world is showing any movement or you are moving, your body will know where you are standing and your orientation in the real world but you are seeing something else, which makes a conflict between the vestibular and visual systems. So, you would feel imbalance, nausea and dizziness.

VR sickness can include loss of balance, headaches, nausea, dizziness and cloudy vision. If you are having headaches because of using VR headsets, here are the 5 things you can do to prevent VR causing headaches.

How to Deal With VR Sickness

How to Deal with VR Sickness

The above mentioned symptoms of VR sickness are not going to stick around for long like it may usually happen in a disease. There are some ways to deal with VR sickness which are very easy to do. Following are some ways to deal with VR sickness:

  1. Always take a break after 20 to 25 minutes when playing VR games. If you play for longer, you can get headaches. So, when you take a break, it rests your eyes from all the motion in a VR game.
  2. Turn down the brightness in games which have this setting. If you turn down brightness to a comfortable level, it will reduce the strain on your eyes.
  3. When there is a lot of movement, like moving a character in a game, look at only one point and don’t look anywhere else. Looking anywhere else can make you lose balance and confuse your eyes causing you headaches or nausea.
  4. Don’t move your head or your body a lot when you are playing a VR game especially when your character is moving or there are a lot of moving objects. Your vision is not entirely used to the VR experience, so if you move too much, it may cause dizziness, loss of focus and dizziness.
  5. Adjust the lens of your Oculus Rift headset to a comfortable distance. Adjust the lens of the Rift headset through the lens slide on the underside. If the lenses are too close you won’t be able to see very well causing in severe headaches.
  6. Make sure your PC can render graphics at frame rates higher than 60 FPS or 90 FPS. Bad frame rate will give you lagging video which can cause severe headaches. Buy better hardware for your PC to get higher frame rates in your games.
  7. If you get sick very easily from VR games, then maybe VR games are not for you. So, you can try to play VR games for small amounts of time.

Hope this article helped you in how to deal with VR sickness. For many people, VR headsets are very new since these just launched recently for consumers. Your eyes and your body’s balancing system can’t easily cope with the VR experience which causes VR sickness.

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