According to a team of Cardiff University psychologists Virtual reality can be used to diagnose and cure visual vertigo.
Most people with the disorder suffer from wooziness and motion sickness and often cite places with dull visual patterns, such as supermarkets to be one of the causative agents.
A group of psychologists is at work to develop virtual environments to assist with analysis and rehabilitation.
The scientists at work do believe the methodology is with “real potential”.
“We don’t know very much about what causes visual vertigo at the moment,” said by Dr Georgina Powell from the School of Psychology.
“There also are not many effective rehabilitation therapies available, so the aim of our project is to try and understand those two things,” she added.
Dr Powell said vertigo can be very incapacitating, “It can mean that a patient can’t leave their house because they feel so sick and nauseous every time they walk around in their visual environment they can’t work, they just can’t function,” she affirmed.
The group said one of the utmost striking explanations they had derived about victims was the disparity between what stimuli initiates their symptoms.
However, acording to Dr Powell all the patients are diverse, “Some environments might trigger symptoms for some patients whilst other environments might trigger symptoms for others,” she said.
“By using virtual reality (VR) we can have vast flexibility over the different types of environments that we can show to patients and we can find out what their individual triggers might be and then tailor specific rehabilitation therapies,” said Dr Powell.
Visual vertigo also referred to as “supermarket syndrome” since big shops, with their jumbled shelves and dull passageways, can act as a facilitators to attacks.
Dr Powell also added that other trigger environments comprise walking by the side of a river, where there is motion on one side of you only.
“Generally they can only handle so much of the virtual reality images at one time – we have a bucket ready. But we give them lots of breaks and lots of water and monitor how they are feeling,” the Doctor added.
People having visual vertigo grow vertigo after suffering injury or illness linked to their vestibular system – the device of the internal ear ensuring balance and space orientation. Such can be an ear infection or migraines.