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August 22, 2019
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Beware! Watching films or playing games while traveling is bad for health

Many of us are accustomed to watch movie or play games on our cell phone to pass time while we travel. But doctors say this is not a good habit for our health.

This habit can lead to cyber sickness or digital motion sickness. Dr Sanjay Bhatia, an ENT surgeon, explains the condition: “While travelling, digital motion sickness is induced due to the mismatch of motion and vision, among other factors.

This could cause strain on the eyes, blurred vision, headaches, giddiness and nausea. It also affects various organs due to the disturbance of the autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system responsible for the control of bodily functions such as breathing, the heartbeat and the digestive processes).”

The symptoms are similar to those of motion sickness, but the two conditions are poles apart. In motion sickness, the brain registers movement, but in digital motion sickness, the brain registers movement and also has to process fast-moving images.

Facts to know:

Having motion sickness does not make you more susceptible to this condition

Adults are more susceptible to it than children

Women are more prone to it, those with type-A personality (perfectionists) are prone to it

Can you beat it?

Experts say that training yourself with the start stop-repeat method (stop watching/playing when the discomfort starts, wait for the symptoms to subside, and repeat once you feel better) may help you get over ‘cyber sickness’. However, there are no long-term studies that document the side-effects of this method, if any.