Long hours on screen cause cyber sickness

Published Oct 29, 2018, 12:38 am IST
Updated Oct 29, 2018, 12:38 am IST
It is a form of fatigue where vision is constantly stressed.
The visual stress in present times is due to longer duration of screen time without taking proper rest.
 The visual stress in present times is due to longer duration of screen time without taking proper rest.

Hyderabad: Cyber sickness is a sub-type of motion sickness, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology where it was found that the sensory of vision stimulated cyber sickness. 

In cyber sickness, it is visual fatigue and the co-ordination of the visual sense with other senses which leads to the problem. 


In motion sickness, the vestibular stimuli induce the reaction in the body.

A recent research study in Journal of Applied Physiology states that cyber sickness is a sub-type of motion sickness and must be evaluated along with it. 

Cyber sickness emerges from visual fatigue where the vision sense is constantly exposed and is stressed. 

The visual stress in present times is due to longer duration of screen time without taking proper rest.

 Psychiatrist Dr Naresh Vadlamani explained, “Cyber sickness leads to behavioural changes in the person where they view aspects according to the screen. Hence it is believed that everything will be very fast, quick and jazzy. But that is not the reality. People who suffer from these behavioural issues can be teenagers and adults. It leads to anxiety, frustration and depression.” 

The physical effects of addiction to screen time are dizziness, nausea and also a problem concentrating. 

It has been found that these people are able to concentrate only on the screen and cannot do without it. 

This can be quite a challenge as in the real world their cognitive skills are not functioning as is required.

Temporary headache is the most common complaint and symptom to watch out for. Dr Deepika Sirineni, a consultant neurologist at Apollo Hospitals, says a headache is “a signal from the brain that it is tired as it is exposed to too much of screen time. This shows that it's time to stop and that the brain requires rest. But the reverse, in terms of withdrawal symptoms, is also noted where there is an urge to go back to the device.”

Experts state that as the sensory system and also cognitive skills of the individual are involved, it becomes a prolonged session of therapy and medication. 

A senior physiatrist on condition of anonymity says, “We get a lot of parents coming with children from class 9 to 12 and the common complaint is too much of screen time and not able to concentrate on studies. The parents are seeking help because in many cases the cognitive skills of the student are affected. They are very good when they are working on the screen but when it comes to an off-screen session their performance is not as required.”

While this is the most vulnerable group, limiting screen time of children on mobile phones is being stressed. 

Monitoring your child's online accounts is also important to ensure that only limited information is shared. 

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad