Virtual reality glasses used to bring pain relief to hospital patients
More hospitals are increasingly showing video clips on virtual reality glasses to distract their patients during medical treatment, which can help reduce the likelihood that they experience pain. By delving into another reality, patients are not as focused on the procedure which can reduce their fear and the intensity of physical sensations, AD reported.
“Virtual reality has been seen as a gadget for a long time, but now being used more often as a medical tool”, said Rudd Waulthers, policy advisor at the Innovatielab, to the newspaper.
Normally, patients undergoing kidney dialysis, chemotherapy, or who experience nerve pain would be given medication to relieve there pain, but some experts say VR glasses can be used to replace painkillers. “Research has shown that the pain score decreased by, on average, two points on a scale of one to ten”, Waulthers said.
Virtual reality glasses have also been given to women in labor at the Zuyderland Medical Center. “Women experienced time passing by faster and the intensity of the contractions decreased.”
The glasses can not only direct the patient’s attention anyway from their pain but can also reduce the fear they might feel when being faced with a difficult medical procedure. Some people might feel uncomfortable in a hospital environment.
“Such a patient calls a nurse every five minutes to not be alone. If you give VR glasses, the patients relax”, said Lonneke van Vogt, a hematology and oncology nurse.
Ideally, far fewer painkillers will be given far less often in the future thanks to VR glasses. “Pain medication can have really bad side effects”, anaesthesiologist Michel Terheggen said. “It’s not going to be that you will sound find VR glasses in the pharmacy, but I really believe that we will soon use far less medication”, he predicted.