Why Motion Sickness Occurs in VR and How to Avoid It?



The visual experience offered by VR is mind blogging unless it messes up with your head and makes you want to throw up. Every new user has experienced motion sickness after trying the headset for the first time. Some continue to experience it and are thinking they might have to stop altogether.

I dread the day when my TV plans option will be VR enabled as I can’t even watch a 3D movie due to my migraines! Well, having this condition, I have done extensive research on the subject, and here are my brief findings.


The Motion Sickness Is Real

It sets in the moment you enter the virtual world. Your eyes tell the brain you are moving around in the virtual environment. Your body, on the other hand, feels like it is sitting or standing still. These conflicting inputs can make you feel dizzy. As a result, you might experience nausea, sweating, headaches, dizziness, loss of balance, or excessive salivating. These symptoms can continue even after hours of taking the equipment off. A good thing it’s possible to overcome motion sickness. Read on to find out how.


How to Minimize the Sickness

Here are the steps to grow accustomed to VR’s immersive realm quickly:


1: Take Baby Steps

So you had a bad experience with a VR game. It made your head spin and you don’t feel much inclined to venture back.  Don’t give up too soon. It’s possible to overcome the sickness without the crazy tricks. Simply take baby steps.

Limit your sessions to a few minutes only. The moment you start feeling uncomfortable, shut your eyes or take a break. You will overcome the discomfort gradually. Before long, you will get accustomed to the virtual world!


2: Eat Ginger Before Playing

Ginger is great for cleansing your palate. It works wonders when it comes to treating nausea. Before putting on your headset, bite a piece of ginger and you will be fine.

There is no guarantee this trick will work for everyone. So whether it works or not, it’s going to be a healthy addition to your diet.


3: Take Dramamine

Dramamine is an antiemetic medicine given to patients who have travel sickness. It can help overcome the motion sickness caused by VR as well.

This medicine is available in the form of chewable tablets and pills and it’s sold under a variety of brand names. It offers 24 hours nausea protection. So if you are going to marathon your way through a VR game, it makes sense to take Dramamine.


4: Sit Down to Regain Balance

Loss of balance is a common cause of sickness too and sitting down can help overcome that. When you sit down, your body’s movements are naturally restricted thus using VR while sitting down reduces the danger of being disoriented by your real-life movements and what you see in VR. Sitting also helps with postural stability, which is especially crucial if you’re new to virtual reality.


5: Select the Right headset

The type and quality of headset worn can impact how you feel too. If you’re prone to motion sickness in general, consider investing in a VR headset that will reduce your chances of experiencing motion sickness. For instance, headsets with 6DOF, (e.g. HTC Vive), make you feel more orientated as you move your head or body in the virtual world.


6: Reduce the Brightness

Bright light and nausea are directly proportional to each other! More light means more nausea and vice versa.

When you’re immersed in a new environment, it’s common to experience sensory overload. Lowering the brightness of your headset will reduce the sensory input, which may make it easier for your equilibrium to shift.


7: Wear a Wristband

Searching for a solution that doesn’t involve taking medicine? Then wear a wristband from a company such as sea bands. Their bands place acupuncture pressure on the Nei-Kaun point on the wrist, which can reduce motion sickness.

Their bands which are meant for travelers have worked for people in the virtual world as well. You might want to try and see if they work for you!


Summing Up

Don’t put VR off for life just because you experienced motion sickness the first time you tried it. Take it slow and follow the remedies mentioned here. Within no time, you will get used to everything!

Once you have the basics out of the way and have gotten used to the virtual world, feel free to experiment with the settings of the headset.


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