Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly being used for training, product/service demonstrations, and entertainment. Unfortunately, some people who use VR get symptoms of motion sickness, such as: nausea and vomiting, cold sweats, dizziness, headache, and fatigue. VR generated motion sickness occurs when your eyes and ears tell your brain you’re moving around in a VR environment, but your body senses it’s sitting in a chair or standing still. These conflicting inputs can bring about the symptoms.
VR technology has improved immensely over the last few years. Past problems with motion sickness were exacerbated by problems such as poor depth of field, high latency, and other technology-related issues. Even so, some people still experience these negative symptoms.
There are some things you can do to overcome VR motion sickness. Many of these are exactly the same as recommended for those who experience motion sickness in cars, boats, or planes.
- Take an over-the-counter motion sickness pill – these are generally safe for everyone, but check with your physician first;
- Reduce the brightness of your head-mounted display (HMD). If the light is too bright, it will increase the visual stimuli received by the brain, potentially worsening any negative symptoms. This will also reduce eye fatigue;
- Try adding additional sensory input – research has shown that having the sound activated, adding scent to the room, having something to eat or drink, and using a fan in the room will reduce problems;
- Remember natural remedies – ginger has often been shown to be as effective as medication in reducing nausea, so try ginger ale, ginger tea, or candied ginger. Other herbs, such as mint, chamomile, and fennel may also help.