iOS7 Dizziness

Oct 25

Our iPhones get a dizzying amount of use. But for some users of Apple’s latest operating system, iOS7, the experience just makes them dizzy. Users complain of acute bouts of vertigo, a generic term that a lot of people use for a subtype of dizziness in which a patient inappropriately experiences the perception of motion, usually spinning motion, due to dysfunction of the vestibular system.

The vestibular system is our balance center and allows us to perceive our spatial orientation in the world around us. Experience from the vestibular system is called equilibrioception. It is mainly used for the sense of balance and for spatial awareness.

When the vestibular system is stimulated, one experiences a sense of self-motion. For iOS7 users experiencing dizziness with hand-held devices, the icons apprear to “float” or change position on the screen. This is a new visual input, and the vestibulocular reflex (VOR) has a hard time stabilizing the images on the screen.

Whether more iPhone use is a good thing or not is a a topic for another blog post. But using iOS7 more frequently and for longer durations will allow our vestibular systems to accommodate the new stimulus. And users no longer will have a perceived feeling of moving in space or a sense of vertigo and its associated symptoms.