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Could Google Glass be bad for your eye health?

The latest controversy surrounding Google Glass is the fact that the device is reportedly causing eye strain and headaches.

There have been a number of reports of problems on Twitter, and BetaBeat detailed their own experiences of two writers who had sharp pains after ten minutes of Glass usage – pains that disappeared after taking the device off.

BetaBeat actually got to speak with Dr Eli Peli, the Harvard optometrist Google brought on board to consult on eye health with Glass, who admitted that there were issues with the fact that people aren't used to looking up, as it were. Most of us look straight ahead or downwards, and rarely upwards – but of course, the position of the Glass screen in the upper-right of the eye-line makes you do just that.

The problem is that Glass is designed for very quick usage – short glances at pieces of info; bursts of activity. It's not designed to be gawked at continuously. However, when you first get Glass, you're obviously using it a lot – it's your new toy – and staring at it for lengthy periods, which could cause discomfort in the eye.

Peli told BetaBeat: "It's not a headache, it's sort of a discomfort in the eye muscles. To describe it as a headache is inconsistent with how people experience headaches."

It would seem, though, that the discomfort and/or pains only affect certain people, which makes sense. Some folks are fine watching 3D movies, others find the glasses make them feel horribly ill; it varies according to the individual.

If you do use Glass, however, the message is clear: It's meant for glancing, not gawking, so make sure you're sensible with the length of time you're staring at that display. Of course, that's good advice in general, in terms of the world not turning into a place populated with Glass-y eyed zombies staring off (and slightly upwards) into space.

Glass is expected to launch before the end of the year (in the US, anyway), although there's a danger Samsung might beat Google to the eyewear punch with Gear Glass.