Virtual reality is all the rage these days – in fact, it seems as though you can’t turn on the TV without seeing new ads for virtual reality headsets.  With more games, movies, and experiences being released on VR devices, it’s no wonder virtual reality headsets are the latest in-demand product.

But before you put a virtual reality headset on your shopping list, take a moment to consider this: Could virtual reality headsets be dangerous to eye health?

Whether you’re headed to a conference or thinking of getting one for your own home, virtual reality headsets represent the latest visual consumption experience, offering a feast for the eyes.  Yet one of the biggest concerns surrounding the virtual reality craze is the transmission of germs, particularly in instances where multiple people are using the same headset.

The question of visual health and virtual reality headsets arose as a result of a Twitter exchange, where one person suggested that ocular herpes was running rampant at a gaming convention.  Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that one can catch ocular herpes through a virtual reality headset.   However, that doesn’t mean your eye health is home free, particularly if you’re using a headset that multiple people have used before you.

Ophthalmologists have pointed out that pink eye (conjunctivitis) can be easily transferred by virtual reality headsets, as well as germs that lead to the common cold.  Therefore, it’s recommended that headset users clean the goggles before wearing them.  Additionally, wash your hands before and after using the headset to avoid spreading more germs.

To learn more about what steps you should take to keep your eyes healthy while you enjoy the world of virtual reality, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia.

NewView Eye Center also serves the greater Washington, DC areas.