PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Have you ever looked at the screens in your life; from the computer, phone, television, gaming system, and begun to feel sick?

That has a name: “Cybersickness.”

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If it goes left unchecked, it can cause some real problems in both the short and long term.

Cybersickness can cause nausea, light-headedness, headaches, migraines, and feeling like the world is moving around you when you are sitting still.

“You’re working, you’re working at 8:00 at night, you’re working at 11:00 at night, what the heck you’re answering an email at 2:00 in the morning, or even if you’re not doing those things you’re using screen times,” explained Allegheny Health Network’s Dr. Randy Peters.

Dr. Peters says it’s important to break the connection to the screen.

“Set a timer for every 20 minutes, stand up, that will also help your posture and your ergonomics,” Dr. Peters explained. “Stand up, walk around, look at something else, look out a window, heck, go outside!”

He also has tips to break the connection to the screen while working.

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“Listen to a presentation or a Zoom presentation,” he said. “You can do that by audio-only and turn off the screen if you have something else and look out the window, not that you’re being distracted – you’re trying to give better attention by listening.”

Constant screentime can be seen as injury, Dr. Peters says, and too much screentime can hurt your eyes, but not in the way once thought.

“You can think of this as a repetitive motion injury of the eyes in the brain,” he said. “The goal is not to enable yourself to be better at the repetitive motion injury, the goal is to reduce the repetitive motion.”

Shumway: “So…every 20 minutes take a break and go smoke a cigarette?”
Dr. Peters: (laughs) “No…no…”

Obviously, don’t do that – but Dr. Peters added that he doesn’t want to sound like your mother but getting enough sleep and eating properly can also help.

Also, anti-nausea and headache medication can help with cybersickness but those only treat the symptoms, not the cause.

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Finding a way to reduce screentime will be the ultimate cure but without that – the symptoms will return and get worse with time.