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VR Goggles Safety Guide for Your Vision

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Learn how to use the Oculus and protect your eyes from CVS and blue light

Virtual reality goggles are rapidly becoming the hottest must-have gaming device. They immerse you fully into a different world, a fantastic realm. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be transported to a new and fascinating place?

All you need to do is put a pair of VR goggles over your eyes and you can dash around, battle the enemy, race, and fly away.

However, we also need to face reality and consider the safety of these clever VR goggles, such as the Oculus. Our Overland and St. Charles eye doctors addresses your questions about the effects of this technology on vision and long-term eye health.

Do VR goggles lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS)?

Most types of VR headsets contain LCD monitors that project images at each eye, and the resulting stereoscopic effect creates an illusion of 3D. In order to accomplish this, the monitors must be placed very close to the eyes. As a result, eye strain and the irritating symptoms of CVS are a real-world concern.

Also, especially with young kids who tend to wear headsets like the Oculus for hours on end, prolonged exposure to this unnatural visual position can interfere with the healthy development of focusing, depth perception, and tracking.

Another common symptom of CVS that may occur is “cybersickness”, a type of motion sickness characterized by dizziness and nausea that can continue to disturb you even after you remove the VR goggles. It results from the mismatch of visual information and body posture.

In an interesting twist, while the bothersome and unhealthy symptoms of CVS are definitely a concern, VR goggles can also be used to enhance vision development. When used under the guidance of a qualified optometrist, some VR goggles can improve visual acuity, strengthen eye muscle weakness, and boost eye-hand coordination, reaction time, eye coordination, and depth perception.

What about blue light and CVS?

The jury is still out about the long-term effects of HEV (high energy visible light), also known as blue light, but research indicates that it may raise your risk of developing eye disease in the future. In addition, blue light flickers – which can stress your eyes and lead to headaches and other problems associated with CVS.

Fortunately, these fears about the hazards of blue light don’t have to get in the way of your high-tech leisure. Newer VR goggles are available with protective blue light filters built-in to the lens. Ask our team Overland Optical Family Eye Care about the latest, eye health friendly VR headsets.

How can you enjoy VR and avoid CVS?

Taking a few precautions can enable you to embrace the innovative tech of virtual reality and keep your vision safe. Our Overland, Missouri, eye doctor shares these tips:

  • Limit your (and your kid’s) time wearing the Oculus and exploring VR. Play for a half-hour at a time, and take a break every 5 minutes to walk around and reestablish your equilibrium.
  • Choose a slow speed for your main character and avoid making any quick or sudden movements within your VR world
  • Adjust the lenses of your VR goggles to meet the particular needs of your eyes.
  • Set your VR goggles for low brightness and a comfortable contrast
  • Don’t use headsets like the Oculus when you’re feeling sleepy or under the influence of alcohol, medication, or other drugs

Real-life eye exams are essential

Along with listening to the warnings and advice above, we encourage you to book regular comprehensive eye exams in our eye care center near you. Our advanced technology and optometric equipment may not be as exciting as spending time in a virtual world, but it will help to keep your vision healthy!

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-423-3874 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland and St. Charles eye doctors.

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