How to Prevent Motion Sickness in VR

How to Prevent Motion Sickness in VR

Some people experience motion sickness while enjoying the immersive world of virtual reality. This can happen whether you’re using VR for gaming or industrial applications. If this is something you’re dealing with you’re likely wondering how to prevent motion sickness in VR. To resolve this issue you really need to explore and understand what causes motion sickness from VR, how common (or uncommon it is), and then you can choose from the list of options I’ll share in today’s article to alleviate or prevent motion sickness while using a VR headset.

The short answer is: to prevent motion sickness in VR you should move your body. Often the perception of motion from your VR headset and your body’s stillness causes a discrepancy that results in motion sickness. If you move your body while you are using VR, you’re less likely to experience motion sickness.

I’ll provide some more details, and some alternatives to try if this doesn’t resolve your VR motion sickness.

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What Causes Motion Sickness from VR?

If you tend to get motion sickness, you may experience it as a result of the perception of motion from VR. Even though you’re not necessarily physically moving when you use VR, your brain is perceiving movement.

The resulting discrepancy can result in nausea and the other symptoms of motion sickness.

What Causes Motion Sickness from VR

Motion sickness tends to happen when your body is still but your brain is being fooled into thinking you are moving. When there is this kind of contradiction, your brain gets confused and motion sickness may be triggered.

You probably already know if you’re a person prone to motion sickness. For example, you may have suffered motion sickness in cars and buses when you were a child, or maybe you still do even now.

How Common (or Uncommon) It Is

Unfortunately, motion sickness is quite common. In fact, as many as one-third of people have a tendency to motion sickness.

If the discrepancy between the brain and the body’s perception of movement becomes very extreme, even more people will end up with this kind of sickness.

How Common Motion Sickness Is

Studies have indicated that motion sickness happens in women more often than men. This is especially true if a woman is pregnant or menstruating.

Also, kids have motion sickness more often than adults. Sometimes, an individual will have motion sickness frequently as a child and this problem will become less frequent as they get older.

Experience Can Help

Some VR enthusiasts have found that even if they had a bit of motion sickness the first couple of times they took part in a VR game, this experience becomes less and less common as they get more practice. 

In other words, your brain and body get used to experiencing a discrepancy between the experience of brain and body, and they learn how to deal with it without motion sickness symptoms.

Options to Prevent or Alleviate Motion Sickness

Fortunately, there are several different options for helping prevent or alleviate motion sickness. One of them is the fact that some VR games include your moving your body.

Options to Prevent or Alleviate Motion Sickness

If you get a VR game like this, you may find your body movement helps cut down on or prevent motion sickness.

If this doesn’t work for you or if you’re using a VR game that doesn’t include body movement significant enough to cut down on motion sickness, there are other things you can try. Let’s take a look at them below.

Cool Yourself with a Fan

Many people find cooling themselves with a fan as they use VR can help with motion sickness. If you’ve ever had motion sickness, you know how much just breathing in some cool and refreshing air can help.

What to Do When Feeling Motion Sickness

There isn’t a scientific consensus about why this is useful. But we all instinctively know how some fresh cool, and especially cold, air can alleviate motion sickness.

Try Ginger

Eat a bit of ginger before you use VR. This may help to stop you getting motion sickness. Ginger is a traditional remedy known for preventing nausea.

The key is to eat it early on, around one or two hours prior to using VR. Ginger has been used for centuries to alleviate nausea, so you’re likely to find it helps.

Get Reassurance

Try asking someone to tell you that you won’t get motion sickness before you get your headset ready. You may benefit from an odd but documented placebo effect and not get motion sickness.

In other words, having someone telling you that you will be okay may make you less likely to feel sick and disoriented.

Get Some Dramamine

If you’re prone to motion sickness in vehicles such as planes or boats, you likely already know about Dramamine. There are Dramamine medications available in both chewable and standard pill forms.

Make sure to read the instructions that come with the medication (for example, on the packaging).

Look Into Wristbands

If you don’t like taking Dramamine, consider getting one of the specialized wristbands on the market. These wristbands are designed to target relevant pressure points used in acupuncture.

Specifically, they are supposed to target your wrist’s Nei-Kuan area.

Many people have found that wristbands marketed as motion sickness prevention devices are quite effective. One well-known brand is called Sea-Bands.

Start Slow

Don’t dive it at the deep end when it comes to VR if you’re a beginner. Start slowly, taking small steps before you get too carried away. This will get your brain and body ready to the motion sensations associated with this activity.

So don’t push yourself too far too quickly. Give yourself the time to get used to VR and its effects. This will give your brain the time to adjust to this new experience and the adjustments that need to be made.

VR Games With Immersion Help

Choosing VR experiences with immersion will make motion sickness less likely. With immersion, you’re moving your body in some way.

VR Games With Immersion Help

This makes it less likely that your brain will sense a discrepancy between what it’s experiencing and what your body is (or isn’t) doing.

VR game makers are aware of the problem of motion sickness, and that is one reason why they’re focusing more on immersion. They’re spending time researching immersion and improving on the features that already exist.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen here, many people experience motion sickness when using VR. If you’ve ever had motion sickness in the past, you are likely to deal with this problem when you first starting using this technology.

If you run into this problem, try some of the tips we talked about earlier, and remember to start slow. Don’t get too carried away, jumping in at the deep end before you’re ready.

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