According to the developer of games and applications Danny Bittman, regular use of a VR headset had a negative impact on his vision, and as a result, he had to see an ophthalmologist. According to him, he was diagnosed with “the problem of convergence of the eyes, acting as” dyslexia “- the exact formulation of the disease is not named by the developer, but it probably means progressive astigmatism.
According to Bittman, vision difficulties appeared due to the daily use of a virtual reality helmet for up to 6 hours a day. The doctor recommended that Danny continue to wear glasses, which should be useful to him.
The developer said that these are glasses with lenses, where there are areas for recognizing objects in the distance and near. According to Bittman, he needed to see an ophthalmologist for the first time within three years of his previous visit. This time he has been working on the development of VR projects.
Danny is not the first virtual reality helmet user to complain of blurred vision, according to the BBC. For example, the manual for the Oculus device contains an indication from the manufacturer that, on average, every fourth person has the possibility of dizziness, seizures and twitching of the eye muscles. For all people with these symptoms, Oculus advises to stop using the device and see a doctor. In addition, many users experience nausea due to the use of VR and AR-helmet, as well as dizziness, it occurs due to the effect of motion sickness.
According to doctors, playing with virtual reality devices really has a negative effect on vision and makes the eyes tired. Nevertheless, according to the statement of the American Association of Optometrists, the fact of receiving the indicated eye injuries has not been proven. Seri Smith-Janes of the organization talks about conducting several studies to investigate the effects of VR and AR headset gaming.
She said that individual users may actually experience nausea, headache, dryness or irritability of the cornea, despite this, significant visual impairment due to virtual reality cannot appear. Still, it is undesirable to constantly use VR and AR helmets, according to the expert: it is necessary to give the eyes a rest for 5-10 minutes every hour so that they can get used to lighting from the visual environment of the real world without deterioration.
Virtual and augmented reality device manufacturers are also looking for solutions to support vision. In March of this year, the British startup GiveVision together with Sony announced the second generation SightPlus 2 AR glasses, designed to restore users’ vision by projecting real-world video onto the working part of the retina.
They will help improve vision for a person who has macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, optic neuritis and many other diseases.
In a clinical study at Moorfields Ophthalmology Hospital, the first generation of SightPlus improved vision in 59 of the 60 trial participants, and 42 people reported seeing almost as much as before the disease appeared. Nearly half of the people tested then said they were going to wear these AR glasses for watching TV, reading or going to the theater in the future.