Dr. Helen

So That's What all These Headaches are About

Do you suffer from headaches and sometimes feel woozy? You could suffer from cyber sickness:

If you are watching computer-generated mayhem in the latest action film or scrolling rapidly on your smartphone, you may start to feel a little off. Maybe it is a dull headache or dizziness or creeping nausea.

And no, it is not something you ate.

A peculiar side effect of the 21st century is something called digital motion sickness or cybersickness. Increasingly common, according to medical and media experts, it causes a person to feel woozy, as if on a boat in a churning sea, from viewing moving digital content.

“It’s a fundamental problem that’s been kind of been swept under the carpet in the tech industry,” said Cyriel Diels, a cognitive psychologist and human factors researcher at Coventry University’s Center for Mobility and Transport in England. “It’s a natural response to an unnatural environment.”

I wonder if those of us prone to motion sickness are more at risk?