Cybersickness Prevention - Deepstash
Cybersickness Prevention

Cybersickness Prevention

Prevention is key. These tips may help:

  • Reduce screen time.
  • Rest your eyes; stretch and change positions.
  • Focus on a stable object other than the screen.
  • Avoid using multiple screens.
  • Pick audio over video.
  • Choose audio or printed books over eBooks.
  • Send handwritten notes instead of emails.
  • Slow down when you scroll.
  • Avoid bright, flashy displays.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal before long periods of screen time.
  • Keep the room well-ventilated and odor-free.
  • Avoid screens when in a moving vehicle.

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The Science of Cybersickness

Cybersickness is caused by a mismatch in sensory input involving the:

  • visual system (what your eyes tell your brain)
  • vestibular system (what your inner ear senses regarding head movement and balance)
  • proprioceptive system (what sensory receptors throughout your body feel)

When you look at a screen, your eyes signal your brain that there’s a lot of movement. But your vestibular and proprioceptive systems tell your brain that all is steady.

It can make you lightheaded and sick to your stomach.

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Symptoms of Cybersickness
  • Nausea is an early sign. It may get worse or even escalate to vomiting.
  • Looking at a screen for long periods may cause dizziness. You may feel lightheaded or like the room is spinning. It’s difficult to concentrate.
  • Staring at screens all day can be a big strain on the eyes, causing dryness, irritation, and blurry vision.
  • You might develop neck and shoulder strain from sitting in the same position too long, leading to a headache.

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Cybersickness

Motion sickness is that nauseated, disorienting feeling that happens on boats, in cars, and on rides. Like motion sickness, cybersickness occurs when your senses send conflicting signals to your brain.

It’s all about orientation. You need your senses to get a feel for where you are and how you’re moving about the world. When you’re senses report contradictory info to the brain, you experience disorientation and physical symptoms.

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Cybersickness vs Motion Sickness

Cybersickness doesn’t involve actual movement, so technically they are two different things. But the result is the same.

With cybersickness, it’s not actual movement like on a boat that triggers it. It’s only the perception of movement that sets off the symptoms.

Like motion sickness, some people experience cybersickness at the tiniest provocation while others are unaffected.

Focusing on a steady object can help.

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Eye fatigue

If you’ve felt that nagging pain behind your eyes after staring at your digital devices all day, you’ve probably experienced it, too. Often, it manifests in the form of:

  • Achy, tired, itchy, burning, dry, or watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble keeping your eyes open
  • Heightened light sensitivity
  • Headaches, especially a dull ache around your eyes.

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Sleep Inertia
  1. It’s not unusual to wake up feeling a bit groggy. For many people, it’s nothing a cup of coffee or shower can’t fix.
  2. Chances are, your morning grogginess is just sleep inertia, which is a normal part of the waking process. Your brain typically doesn’t instantly wake up after sleeping. It transitions gradually to a wakeful state.
  3. During this transition period, you may feel groggy or disoriented. If you aren’t careful, you can easily fall back asleep.
  4. Sleep inertia slows down your motor and cognitive skills, which is why it sometimes feels impossible to do anything right after you wake up.

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Looking at screens have generated new myths

Similar to the old myth that if someone is sitting too close to the big tube TV, you would ruin your eyes, there are some new myths and facts about how screens affect our vision.

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