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Screentime can make you feel sick – here are ways to manage cybersickness

Posted Jul 22, 2021

Do you ever feel like the light of your computer screen is burrowing into your eyes and making your head pulse? Or feel dizzy or nauseous after looking at your phone? While you might think these sensations are just eye strain or fatigue from looking at your screen for too long, they’re actually symptoms of a condition called cybersickness.

Cybersickness refers to a cluster of symptoms that occur in the absence of physical motion, similar to motion sickness. These symptoms fall into three categories: nausea, oculomotor issues and general disorientation. Oculomotor symptoms, like eye strain, fatigue and headaches, involve overworking the nerve that controls eye movement. Disorientation can manifest as dizziness and vertigo. And several cybersickness symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating and blurred vision, overlap categories. These issues can persist for hours and affect sleep quality.

These issues may seem like a necessary evil with the rise of work from home, remote learning, and days spent endlessly scrolling online. But as an Iowa State University Ph.D. candidate in human computer interaction specializing in cybersickness, Angelica Jasper contends that there are ways to anticipate and avoid feeling sick from your screens.

Read Jasper’s full article in The Conversation here.