Dizziness is an array of feelings such as being woozy, off-balance, or lightheaded. Occasional dizzy spells are not unusual. Dizziness can affect our sensory organs, specifically the eyes and ears, and it may cause a person to fall unconscious.

Dizziness is not a disorder but rather a symptom of an underlying health condition. Some people mistake dizziness for vertigo or disequilibrium. These three are not the same things.

  • Dizziness: The feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or nearly fainting.
  • Vertigo: The feeling that you or the world around you is spinning or moving. The feeling can be just like motion sickness, or it can feel as if you are leaning to one side.
  • Disequilibrium: The loss of balance or equilibrium often accompanied by spatial disorientation.

What Is Cybersickness?

Have you ever played virtual reality games, or watched a 3D movie with wild action scenes, and then suddenly felt headache, lightheadedness, and nausea after doing so? You are not alone. What you experienced is a problem afflicting a lot of us who consume technology every day – cybersickness or digital motion sickness.

With the emergence of various technologies, cybersickness is becoming more and more common. It can make you feel dizzy and sick as if you were sailing on a boat tossing about in the high waves at sea. The feeling is brought about by moving digital content.

Cyriel Diels, a psychologist and researcher at Coventry University’s Center for Mobility and Transport in England, explained that cybersickness is a dilemma that is unspoken or is hidden by the tech industry. She described this response to moving media as a “natural reaction to an unnatural environment.”

Why Does Cybersickness Occur?

Also referred to as visually induced motion sickness by the medical community, cybersickness happens due to a basic mismatch between sensory inputs. As explained by Steven Rauch, medical director of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Balance and Vestibular Center, our sense of balance has different inputs, more than from other senses. When those inputs do not agree, we feel dizziness and nausea.

An applicable scenario is when you are on a cruise, in your cabin, and you begin to feel seasick. It is a result of incompatible inputs. If you move to the deck and concentrate on the horizon line, you start to feel better.

Every part of your body is feeling movement, but you do not see it. However, when you are dealing with cybersickness, it is the contrary. You see movement, such as the twist and turns in a movie or video game car race, but you are not feeling it in your muscles and joints. This results in a feeling of dizziness and sickness.