The growing use of virtual reality headsets could cause myopia say leading eye health professionals.Virtual reality gamers wear a headset, which creates what appears to be life-sized, 3D virtual environment.
Gamer Ross McDougall says he likes to lose himself in virtual worlds but agrees it’s not great for eyes.
“The biggest detractor from a physical perspective is having a first-person experience and your eyes telling you one thing but your body is sitting down. That conflict your brain doesn’t handle very well, [and] that’s where most people start to feel nauseous,” he told 3 News New Zealand.
Whilst short-term side effects include seeing double and blurred vision, Auckland optometrist Alan Saks is worried about the long-term damage.
Whilst short-term side effects include seeing double and blurred vision, Auckland optometrist Alan Saks is worried about the long-term damage…
“Myopia progression is one risk; exposure to blue light is another risk, potential degeneration of the retina and long-term sight threatening risks,” he says.
Senior ophthalmic surgeon Professor Charles McGhee agrees that myopia could be an issue.
“Pathologists who used to look down a microscope all day long at pathology tissues, many of them became myopic.
“If we look in the educational system, many times if you get people spending a lot of time looking at computers or books, there’s evidence that if you have predisposition to short-sightedness (myopia) you become short-sighted (myopic).”
Professor McGhee says spending extended periods in a virtual reality environment won’t be good for anyone’s eyesight.
“It certainly won’t be good for your general development.”
Within three years, the global virtual reality industry is set to be worth more than $5.8 billion.