Cybersickness Is Real, But So Is Relief
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to live most of their lives, including work, entertainment, and personal interactions, online. All this screen time has taken a toll, as more people of all ages are reporting symptoms of “cybersickness.”
Cybersickness was a phenomenon before the pandemic, but had been studied mostly in the context of up-and-coming virtual reality games. Cybersickness is a form of motion sickness, characterized by nausea, disorientation, and oculomotor disturbances, according to a study of the problem by Kay Stanney and colleagues, published in 2020 in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.
A recent article in National Geographic explains how cybersickness is seasickness in reverse. Instead of your body moving while your perception thinks you should be still, such as the experience of being on a boat while looking at a fixed horizon. In a virtual world your body is still, but your senses are perceiving motion, whether through video games, zoom meetings, or just endless scrolling.
Fortunately, the dizziness and discomfort of too much screen time can be eased by some of the same strategies that work on other types of motion sickness.
For example, the Sea-Band wristband is designed to relieve the symptoms of motion and travel sickness naturally through the use of acupressure.
Specifically, the Sea-Bands include studs sewn inside that put gentle, steady pressure on the P6 (Nei-Kuan) acupressure point. Studies have shown that applying pressure to this point relieves the nausea associated with motion sickness.” Because the bands do not use drugs, they do not cause any of the side effects associated with anti-nausea drugs and can be worn on each wrist whenever you feel nauseous,” according to the company website.
Sea-Band wristbands can be used by anyone, adults or children, and usually have an effect on symptoms within five minutes of putting one on, according to the company. Sea-Bands are latex-free, washable, and reusable, and they can be used in combination with other anti-nausea medications.
Sea-Bands can help relieve not only the nausea and dizziness associated with motion sickness and cybersickness, but also post-surgery nausea, nausea associated with chemotherapy, and nausea associated with pregnancy. And Sea-Band products are HSA- and FSA-approved, so they are covered by many health insurance plans.