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Apr 30,2024

Almost everyone owns a gadget. In certain situations, people are glued to their digital screens to be entertained or for work-related purposes. Regardless, too much screen time has negative effects, including cybersickness. However, not everyone is aware that this sickness exists. This article sheds light on the symptoms of cybersickness and some easy ways to prevent it from happening.


What is cybersickness?

Cybersickness is a condition that combines several symptoms that are closely similar to motion sickness. In most cases, the symptoms occur due to prolonged digital screen time. The only distinct difference between cybersickness and motion sickness is that the former happens without physical motion.

The symptoms may last for hours, which can negatively impact daily habits like sleep quality. Cybersickness happens when it triggers your senses by sending various conflicting signals to the brain.


How does cybersickness happen?

Cybersickness happens when there is a mismatch and confusion in sensory communication. When the person’s senses communicate information to the brain that is considered contradictory, it makes them feel disoriented and results in several undesirable symptoms.

For example, when you look at your flashing screen, the visual system signals your brain that there is movement. At the same time, your system will also signal your brain that you are not moving and that everything is steady. This contradiction causes you to feel lightheaded, which can eventually cause dizziness. Depending on the person and the severity, cybersickness can last from a few minutes to up to 24 hours.


Symptoms and treatments of cybersickness

Symptoms of cybersickness vary from person to person. But in most cases, the following are the common ones you may experience if you have cybersickness.

  • Nausea. This can be an early sign of cybersickness. It can also worsen if you have just had a large meal. You might be sensitive to a stuffy room without proper ventilation or strong smells. Severe nausea may also lead to vomiting.
  • Lightheadedness. Prolonged screen time can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded. If you are working on screens with moving images, you are more likely to develop cybersickness. Furthermore, the sickness can make you feel disoriented, which makes it challenging to concentrate.
  • Digital eye strain. Looking at computer and phone screens can be strenuous on the eyes. As a result, you might experience fatigue, dryness, blurry vision, and irritation.
  • Migraines and headaches. The harmful light emitted from digital screens can cause migraines and headaches. In some cases, your headache may also be accompanied by other cybersickness symptoms like lack of concentration, flushing, and fatigue.


If you start feeling any of the conditions mentioned above, the first you must do is step away from your computer or mobile phone and rest. Other remedies and preventions you can perform to avoid cybersickness are the following:

  • Reduce the amount of your digital screen time
  • Take breaks for 20 minutes, shift your attention to any object about 20 feet away, and look at it for 20 seconds.
  • Observe a good posture for your neck, head, and back.
  • Avoid focusing on multiple screens simultaneously.
  • Avoid having heavy meals before a prolonged digital screen time
  • Have good ventilation in workspaces.
  • Get up and stretch from time to time.


Do blue light glasses help with cybersickness?

Scientifically, blue light glasses are helpful with cybersickness. They protect the eyes from the harmful blue light that is generally emitted from computers, smartphones, TVs, tablets, and laptop screens. For context, blue light is relatively high in energy and possesses a short wavelength. This means that it can be harmful when exposed for longer hours.

In most cases, eyeglasses are now equipped with blue light-blocking features. However, there are also instances when you must customize the lenses and include the blue light-blocking coating. It helps to check with your eyewear manufacturer how to effectively get this coating into your lenses before buying. Ensure that the glasses are of the best quality so you can wear them for a long time.

While cybersickness does not need a doctor’s consultation if the condition is mild, remember to visit one if the symptoms are severe or if you are unsure of the cause. Your doctor might also suggest getting blue light glasses.