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3 Ways Virtual Reality Headsets May Be Harming Your Child’s Eyes

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Virtual reality (VR) has become a force in the gaming world and has radically redefined digital entertainment, but eye doctors are warning parents not to rush out to buy their children a VR headset just yet.

The VR company’s health and safety warnings explicitly state that children under the age of 13 years should not use the VR system.

For those older than 13 years, parents must ensure that playing time is limited and that frequent breaks are taken.

Here are three ways in which using a VR headset could potentially harm your child’s vision:

1. Negatively impact visual development

VR devices are designed mostly for adult use. Not only are the headsets incorrectly sized for children, but at such a young age, children are in a critical period of visual development.

Prolonged use of VR can negatively impact hand-eye coordination, balance and multi-tasking abilities.

At our eye clinic in Market Mall, our eye care specialists care about the proper development of your child’s eyes and offer eye exams specially designed for children.

It is suggested that you see a qualified eye doctor to accurately assess your child’s visual development and correct any vision problems early on.

2. Triggers Amblyopia

Amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye, is a very serious eye condition which causes decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal vision development. It is a leading cause of vision loss in children.

Research has suggested that a VR headset can trigger lazy eye in children with pre-existing visual conditions.


3. Development of Visual Problems


Children without any vision problems are also more likely to develop ocular issues such as myopia (nearsightedness) or develop temporary double vision after using VR headsets.

These devices may also lead to disorientation and balance issues.


Virtual reality is a very recent development and as such, much more research needs to be done regarding its long-term health effects.

For the time being, parents are advised to limit their child’s exposure and carefully monitor the time that children spend playing with the VR headsets.

To learn more about your child’s current eye sight and how we can help protect your child’s vision in the future, book an eye exam at our NW Calgary eye clinic, conveniently located at Market Mall, 403-286-4884.

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