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VR glasses will lead to more Myopia, unless you do it right

Kenrico
Level 2
Dear developers,

I would like to draw your attention to one important thing: VR glasses will lead to more Myopia, unless you implement some very important features.

I myself am near-sighted, so I've done a lot of research on myopia and why it appears. I want to prevent many people to become short-sighted, too. You hold the key in your hands, to protect your customers eyesight.

Unfortunately we do not yet fully understand why near-sightedness appears and progresses, but the following things demonstrably contribute to it:
1. Constant and dark conditions
2. Permanent fixation of nearby objects without alternation.
a) → The eyes are turned inwards, the outer ocular muscles are permanently stretched, the inner one's are permanently tensed.
b) The musculus ciliaris also is permanently tensed and focused on the close.

Without taking the following into consideration, many youths will become nearsighted.
Fortunately VR glosses do automatically consider point 2a). The eyes are no longer turned inwards permanently, which usually is the case while playing computer on a classic monitor or while reading. But more important are item 1 and 2b).

1. In another forum post it was told that the Rift will have approximately 3500lux on the eye's surface. This is better than in normal rooms but still to dark to prevent myopia. At least 10000 lux are required, I would recommend 15000 lux or more. The eye should not be exposed to 15000 lux all the time but at least 10 times per hour.

2b) It will be difficult but for sure possible, to produce an artificial lens which changes the focal length. You have to force the eye to vary the focal length often, in particular it mustn't be accommodated all time. To be accommodated means, that the eye is focusing a near object.

For example: The eye will have a maximum distance of two inches to the screen. The musculus ciliaris will therefore be maximum tensed. No matter how far away an object will seem do be (because of using 3D-illustration) the musculus ciliaris is not affected if the object is only two inches distant. How can we solve this problem? We can change the focal length with a +diopter lens that is able to change it's strength. The more far away an object should be, the stronger the lens has to be, too.
If you implement this feature (it's development will of course cost a lot), you can prevent many people from losing their eyesight and from having to buy expensive correction glasses.


If the eyes focus on a near object (→ 2b+2a) and the light is permanently relatively dark (1.) myopia will appear for sure in many people.

Excuse me for my partly bad understandable English. If something is not clear enough, don't hesitate to ask me!

Your customers will be very very grateful to you (maybe you should advertise it, otherwise they will not know, you saved them from myopia)

Best regards,

Enrico Kimmig

P.S.: informations:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25360635
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20065211
http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120
22 REPLIES 22

govny
Level 3
I think you are wrong.
VR glasses focus the images to infinity, so it's like you are looking through a window a distant countryside.
I am near sighted too and when I use oculus, I feel my Eyes prefectly relaxed and when I remove VR glasses I see better than before.

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
This was discussed in a previous thread, if I remember right, CV1 focus is set to 1.5 metres so better than looking at the average monitor in terms of inducing myopia. I wear older prescription (less distancy) glasses to increase the apparent focal distance to something near infinity as I find it more relaxing on my eyes (with my DK2 that is).

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v20H2 (19042.964)

Dreamwriter
Level 8
I'm not sure I agree with you - I've spent 15 years staring at monitors from a foot or two away for my job, then went home and did it some more, and my eyesight has never gotten any worse. I've worn glasses for nearsightedness since I was a kid, and my prescription hasn't gotten any worse in the last 8 years though my computer usage and book reading (and in recent times, Kindle reading) have both gone up significantly. In fact my eye doctor said my eyes were very healthy, and I probably won't need reading glasses until my mid 50's.

At least from my experience, "permanent fixation of nearby objects without alternation" doesn't seem to have harmed my eyesight one bit.

in6seconds
Level 5
I couldn't take you serious after you said "costumers"

Kenrico
Level 2
"govny" wrote:
I think you are wrong.
VR glasses focus the images to infinity, so it's like you are looking through a window a distant countryside.
I am near sighted too and when I use oculus, I feel my Eyes prefectly relaxed and when I remove VR glasses I see better than before.
I'm sorry, I did not know that VR glasses are already equipped with strong converging lenses. The current optics of the DK2 Rift are equivalent to looking at a screen approximately 1.3 meters away (https://developer.oculus.com/documentation/intro-vr/latest/concepts/bp_app_imaging/)
That's not equivalent to infinity. But I'm glad that the developers did already try to solve 2b). Nevertheless, the musculus ciliaris is thereby demanded one-sided.
There is no danger for adults, but for children. The most common type of myopia is the school myopia and the musculus ciliaris most likely plays a role in its development.

"DaftnDirect" wrote:
This was discussed in a previous thread, if I remember right, CV1 focus is set to 1.5 metres so better than looking at the average monitor in terms of inducing myopia. I wear older prescription (less distancy) glasses to increase the apparent focal distance to something near infinity as I find it more relaxing on my eyes (with my DK2 that is).
Yes, thank you. Owing to the matched focal length the Oculus Rift is already better for the eyes than looking at a computer display.


"Dreamwriter" wrote:
I'm not sure I agree with you - I've spent 15 years staring at monitors from a foot or two away for my job, then went home and did it some more, and my eyesight has never gotten any worse. I've worn glasses for nearsightedness since I was a kid, and my prescription hasn't gotten any worse in the last 8 years though my computer usage and book reading (and in recent times, Kindle reading) have both gone up significantly. In fact my eye doctor said my eyes were very healthy, and I probably won't need reading glasses until my mid 50's.

At least from my experience, "permanent fixation of nearby objects without alternation" doesn't seem to have harmed my eyesight one bit.
Dear Dreamwriter, I'm sorry that I did not distinguish between the various types of myopia. I did want to talk about school myopia, which is the most common type. As an adult, you are not exposed to the risk that myopia develops or worsens. It is also genetically determined whether one develops myopia or not. But the environment conditions of the eyes are the main reasons for it's development.

"in6seconds" wrote:
I couldn't take you serious after you said "costumers"

But I was serious. This are future costume wearing customers of Oculus:
They are likely to drop their costumes, wear Rifts and then develop school myopia to wear real glasses finally. I'm really serious about this.

Syrellaris
Level 8
First of all, it is the parents job to monitor there children. Second, Children under the age of 13 should not spend there entire day behind a computer, tv, VR headset etc. There is a reason why they say to take atleast 15 minutes of rest every 1 and a half hours of using a computer.

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
"Syrellaris" wrote:
First of all, it is the parents job to monitor there children. Second, Children under the age of 13 should not spend there entire day behind a computer, tv, VR headset etc. There is a reason why they say to take atleast 15 minutes of rest every 1 and a half hours of using a computer.

Oculus' health & safety guidelines go further than that and recommend at least a 10-15 minute break every 30 minutes! Can't imagine many people following that rule when they're immersed in a game but there you go. I believe my last workplace display screen awareness assessment stated something similar, they were keen to point out that 'take a break' just meant focusing on something different, not stopping work!
It makes more sense with a headset though as your focus is absolutely fixed, unlike a monitor where you're always glancing at other things without realising it.

Intel 5820K OC@4Ghz, Titan X (Maxwell), 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4, ASRock X99 Taichi, Samsung 500Gb 960 Evo M.2, Corsair H100i v2 Cooler, Inateck KTU3FR-4P USB 3 card, Windows 10 Pro v20H2 (19042.964)

Kenrico
Level 2
"Syrellaris" wrote:
First of all, it is the parents job to monitor there children. Second, Children under the age of 13 should not spend there entire day behind a computer, tv, VR headset etc. There is a reason why they say to take atleast 15 minutes of rest every 1 and a half hours of using a computer.
I think most children and youths do not care about safety instructions, neither did I when I was young.



I want to make two important and easy to implement recommendations:
1. Increase the maximum brightness of the Rift to 15000 Lux, and implement a feature that makes the brightness go lighter and darker. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25360635

3. Recommend already myopic children not to wear their glasses below the Oculus Rift. If they need to do, because they have already more than -1 diopters, please take care to recommend them to wear weaker glasses. They should not wear the full correction glasses. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20065211
A 38% reduction of myopia progression is quite impressive and easy to achieve.

dead4sure
Level 5
I don't think we should be quick to ignore comcerns like these. The OP here isn't bashing VR so there's no need to be defensive. It would likely be a massive inconvenience to build a version of VR that has no negative consequences. I'm not a fan of inconvenience but I do want my future kids to experience VR without going blind =P

Time will tell us what the long-term damage is but I would not be surprised if we end up with a generation of young adults with higher incidents of visual conditions because of VR.

This was written in a rush so apologies for the crappy wording...