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Have you been feeling dizzy since you downloaded iOS7 to your iPhone? Apple IPad and iPhone users have been complaining that the new Zoom and Parallax features cause headaches, nausea, vertigo, and motion sickness. Here's how to prevent these symptoms.

Apple built the new iOS7 operating system from the ground up. The color scheme is simpler. The new Parallax feature gives users of iPhones and iPads to which the new operating system has been downloaded feel as if they are looking at their phones or pads head on, no matter how they hold the device. Also, the new operating system has a zoom feature for accessing applications.

And those two functions are turning out to be a major problem.

Motion Sickness from Your iPhone?

Some Apple product users are reporting that using their phones is a little like watching a movie in 3-D. Icons on the phone seem to be coming at the user head-on. The result is a sickening combination of dizziness, motion sickness, and, if the product is used too long, eyestrain (in the medical literature, called "asthenopia") nausea and headache. Probably there are also some users who experience a feeling of difficulty focusing the eyes, fullness in the head, increased salivation, and sweating. But not everybody who uses the iOS7 gets these problems.

The people who are most susceptible to problems with the new operating system are the 3 to 9% of the population who have problems with binocular vision, that is, who don't have equal or equally corrected vision in both eyes. When the zoom feature is a problem, there may be problems with the inner ear. When 3-D movies were introduced to Japan, hundreds of people who had inner ear problems became sick while watching their first 3-D film. A similar phenomenon may be occurring with the new iOS.

What to Do About Motion Sickness When Using iOS7

Some users of iOS7 have resorted to downgrading from iOS7 to iOS6. Before you do that, however, you may want to try turning off the parallax function from the accessibility menu. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility, and then select the Reduce Motion option. Turning on the Reduce Motion option turn off the Parallax feature, which is not otherwise identified in the menu. Once you do this, icons will nto move around on the screen as you tilt or move the phone.

Another annoying feature of the iOS7 is that it uses white backgrounds and gray type in a small, hard to read font. In typical Apple style, you don't have a choice of theme for the display on your phone, although there is a work around. First, in General Settings, you can change text size. Then in the Accessibility settings, you can choose bold text to make it really stand out.

You can't get rid of the white backgrounds, either, but if you just have to tone down the brightness a bit, you can enable "Invert Colors" in the same settings window. This will make photos look a little odd, but the text will be much easier to read.

  • Solimini AG. Are there side effects to watching 3D movies? A prospective crossover observational study on visually induced motion sickness. PLoS One. 2013
  • 8(2):e56160. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056160. Epub 2013 Feb 13. PMID: 23418530.
  • Photo courtesy of Kārlis Dambrāns by Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/janitors/9814301505/

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