When wearing a head-mounted display, it is evident your eyes will experience minor discomfort. Unfortunately, this only gets worse when wearing glasses or using contacts. Some users have complained about their contacts effectively drying out while wearing a virtual reality headset. Although this is not a common issue, it is a potential problem to take into account when venturing into the VR world.

Contact Lens Discomfort in VR is Painful

People who wear contacts often have the feeling they almost forget those things are in front of their eyeballs. This goes to show how far the contact lens technology has come these days. Unfortunately, contact lenses and virtual reality headsets do not mix well sometimes. Multiple people experience an effect that can only be described as contacts “drying out” while spending time in VR. This is a very real problem that can cause major eye strain and even damage to the eye over time.

Although these issues are not as common as some people would think, it can still happen. Depending on what headset you use and how warm the device gets, dried out contacts can certainly become a real issue. One particular thread on VRtalk mentions how one user experienced this effect after just fifteen minutes of wearing a VR headset. That is a rather troublesome development. The heat from the VR screens – especially in cheaper models – can cause eyes to become drier than normal. This is very harmful to people who wear contacts, unfortunately.

One possible reason for this problem is the user not blinking enough. When experiencing a VR environment, users subconsciously tend to keep their eyes open for a longer period of time compared to normal. This can have a negative effect on contact as well. Especially when it is combined with an HMD generating a ton of heat from the screens, it is not hard to see why someone’s eyes would dry out. It also depends on what time you use the VR headset, though. After a long and stressful day while wearing contacts, the last thing you need is an HMD on your face to make your eyes hurt even more.

It is evident the use of contacts and electronics generating directional heat can be very troublesome. Anyone who suffers from contracts drying out while using a VR headset should see their eye doctor as soon as possible. Preventing permanent damage to your eyes is the number one priority in this regard. Moreover, the doctor may be able to come up with a solution to prevent this from happening. Thankfully, issues like these only occur every so often, but it is something manufacturers need to be aware of for future generations of VR headsets.

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