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Students struggle with cybersickness during online class

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 7:09 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Avoiding excessive screen time can sometimes seem impossible these days but doctors say you should work at avoiding it because it could cause big problems.

“It’s been a year of this going on and you just get upset but what can you do?” said Jeremy Lighthart.

Like many students, Isaac Lighthart’s 7th grade classes are online. His dad says that’s making Isaac sick.

“My son started getting headaches, blurred vision, upset stomach, dizziness from being on his tablet for too long I thought it might be games also,” Lighthart said.

So Lighthart pulled Isaac away from online gaming hoping his health would improve.

“It got better but came back in January. It always happens around the 5th or 6th hour,” Lighthart said.

Lighthart called his son’s school and went online seeking answers. That’s when he learned about cybersickness.

“There going from screens at school, screens on there phone, screens on there tablet. They just have to take breaks,” said SwedishAmerican Dr. William Renk.

A few of doctor Renk’s patients struggle with cybersickness.

“It’s when a mismatch occurs between what your vision is saying you’re doing,” Renk said.

Renk says your body sits still when you are using a computer but your eyes engage with what’s happening on the screen constantly moving and adjusting to changes in light.

“But you can have physical symptoms just like in motion sickness nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, feeling unbalanced, wobbling kind of feeling so it’s for sure a real thing,” Renk siad.

“If they are in school there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to do book work, paperwork it seems like all assignments are online,” Lighthart said.

Doctors recommend taking frequent breaks from digital devices, using phones or computers in a well-lit room and if you start to feel nauseous look at a still object to realign your brain and eyes.

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