Virtual reality gaming to help Sheffield patients 

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become the first NHS Trust in the country to begin use virtual reality gaming to treat visual vertigo in everyday NHS practice.

The Trust has installed a state-of-the-art virtual reality computer gaming suite at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital to help patents with visual vertigo.

The use of the technology has already led to a dramatic improvement in recovery times for patients suffering with the debilitating condition, with those using the digital landscape and headsets during rehabilitative therapy regaining control of their symptoms within six to eight weeks of starting therapy. This compares to six months using traditional rehabilitative therapy.

Around 30% of people with balance problems suffer with visual vertigo, a chronic and complex form of dizziness, which leads to social isolation and depression and puts sufferers at increased risk of falling. Over time, the technology could be used in patients’ homes for self-help therapy.