Is virtual reality safe?

 After lurking in the shadows for a few years, Virtual reality broke into the mainstream in 2017. Thanks to Oculus, the technology got a much-needed push and now VR is an accepted mode of a user interface in many industries.

 The mass market has made the technology available to everyone, starting at $20. Pair a Google Cardboard headset with a smartphone and you are ready to experience the incredible world of virtual reality.

 Like any new technology that hits the market, virtual reality has also given rise to questions of safety and side effects. And since it is fooling your brain into believing the simulated world is real, the concerns are serious.

Almost every VR device comes with a page full of warnings about user safety. If you adhere to the safety standards set by the manufacturer, it drastically reduces the chances of a problem. But if you pay no attention to them, you could hurt yourself.

According to statistics provided by the manufacturers, one in four thousand users may face a case of severe nausea when using VR. Though there are no known cases of permanent problems caused by VR, the temporary one can throw a spanner in your plans.

Some VR users will experience vertigo and may even vomit if they did not adjust the interpupillary distance. They may experience discomfort the moment they put on the headset and it may persist long after they take off the headset.

If you play for longer than the recommended period, you may experience dizziness or face a massive headache.

 Most of these problems can be safely avoided by starting slow, following manufacturer’s recommendation and limiting your VR usage to the suggested time limits.

 As technology improves, VR will become a lot easier to use with minimal side effects. But until then, it can be used safely if you follow the precautions.