Boy, 13, suffers allergic response to Oculus Quest 2, inflicting his eyes to swell shut
A boy was hospitalized after he had an allergic reaction to the Facebook virtual reality headset he got for Christmas and his eyes were swollen.
Lewis Gray, 13, loved when he received the Oculus Quest 2 from his grandparents and couldn’t wait to strap it on to his head and start playing.
It wasn’t until the next day that his mother, Kirsty Reed, 33, noticed the skin around his eyes and forehead was turning red.
He was taken to the hospital when his eyes were swollen and doctors said it was an allergic reaction.
A recall alert showed that Facebook received 5,716 reports of skin irritation on the face – with reactions such as rashes, swelling, burning, itching, hives and bumps – after using the kit.
Lewis suffered a rare allergic reaction after using Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset, which caused the skin on his face to swell and turn red
Chris and Lewis Gray and Kirsty Reed (left to right) pose with the Oculus Quest 2, which resulted in the 13-year-old being hospitalized December 27th for treatment for an allergic reaction
The Oculus Quest 2 was a Christmas present from Lewis’ grandparents and cost £ 299 from Curry’s. The silicone cover included in the set to protect the skin from rare allergic reactions is circled in red
They also received approximately 45 reports from consumers in need of medical attention.
The Oculus Quest 2 – also known as Meta Quest 2 – is a virtual reality headset developed by Facebook Technologies that can be used for gaming.
Lewis’ grandparents bought the virtual reality headset for £ 299 from Curry’s.
Mama Kirsty of Chertsey, Surrey said, “He played back and forth for a couple of hours on Christmas Day.
“When he woke up on Boxing Day morning, his cheekbones and forehead were irritated.
Kirsty said on Boxing Day, after Lewis played with the headset on Christmas Day, Lewis woke up looking like he was “wearing blush”. On December 27th, a worrying swelling began
Kirsty gave Piriteze to her son after noticing a slight swelling after Lewis’ use of the headset. Lewis didn’t use the protective silicone case, and his mom said it wasn’t clear what it should be used for
“It almost looked like he was wearing blush.
“He was slightly swollen so I gave him some Piriteze, but the next morning he woke up and his eyes are almost closed from the swelling.”
He woke up on Monday, December 27th and was taken to the emergency treatment unit at St. Peter’s Hospital in Lyne by his father, Christopher Gray, 39.
When the doctor saw him, they suspected it was likely a delayed allergic reaction to the headset and prescribed some antihistamines and preventive steroids for him.
Kirsty said, “It’s worrying because you don’t know what’s going to happen or if the reaction is down your throat.
Kirsty claimed that “the information leaflet that came with it doesn’t say anything is irritating.” A copy of the manual warns users of possible skin irritation
“Anaphylaxis was a big problem because the swelling was so severe.
“The doctors had said that if his eyes were irritated or swollen any more, we had to go back immediately.
“It could have closed its eyes completely if it had continued like this.
“It’s not very nice. I think Lewis didn’t quite get that until he spoke to the doctor. ‘
Support rep Kirsty researched the Oculus Quest 2 and found that the product was temporarily recalled in July.
Facebook, which owns Oculus, received reports of skin irritation in December 2020 and opened an investigation.
The science behind swelling allergies
Doctors call the condition “allergic contact dermatitis” and it can be caused by anything your body is sensitive to.
Common allergens are rubber products like latex, sun block, poison ivy, black henna, and metals like nickel.
Dermatitis can manifest itself in many ways, from swelling to rashes to hives.
An allergic reaction, such as that experienced by a small percentage of Oculus Quest 2 users, is very different from an anaphylactic reaction.
In anaphylactic reactions, which can even affect a person’s breathing, the body releases an antibody known as IgE.
No IgE is released in allergic contact dermatitis.
This was updated in April to say that “some trace substances have been identified that are normally present in the manufacturing process and can contribute to skin discomfort”.
It added that although they were below industry standards, they had “changed” [their] Process to reduce it even further. ‘
But another notice was posted on the Oculus website in July saying the more people were using the headset, the more cases had come in.
It said, “We have received reports that a very small percentage (0.01%) of Quest 2 customers experienced skin irritation after using the Quest 2 detachable foam facial interface.”
They then also offered headset owners a free silicone case to protect their skin, saying that all new units would include one starting August 24th.
Kirsty said, “What I can understand from what I’ve read is that it’s the foam on the headset itself, and there are chemicals.
“But the information brochures supplied do not state that anything could lead to irritation.
“It took me some time to find the problems.”
MailOnline has received a copy of the Oculus Quest 2 Safety Manual and has determined that using the product may cause skin irritation.
Lewis’ device came with the silicone case, but Kirsty claims there is no indication of why it was there – and therefore did not use it.
Although warnings for epilepsy were included and the product was unsuitable for children under the age of 13, Kirsty could not see anything suggestive of possible skin irritation.
She said, “There wasn’t even a cover on it.
“It’s separate what makes you think, if this is a problem then why isn’t it there?
“It’s a really high-tech piece of play equipment that a lot of kids want, and we need that warning about the potential risks involved.
“Why are they still producing it exactly that way when they know there is a problem?
“Lewis is very lucky that he has no underlying allergens, but for someone prone to anaphylaxis, it could kill someone.”
According to a statement on the Oculus Quest 2 website, 1 in 10,000 – or 0.01 percent – of users reported skin reactions, with the vast majority of cases being mild
Allergic reactions can occur if the foam part of the Quest 2 headset is placed on the user’s face
The mother of two contacted Oculus, who has since told her to stop her son from using the product and that they will contact her about what to do next.
Andrew Bosworth, head of Facebook Reality Labs, posted a letter in July addressing the reports of skin irritation.
It said, “We took the reports of skin irritation very seriously as soon as we heard about them, and from December onwards we carried out a thorough investigation, including advice from leading dermatologists and toxicologists.
“These experts have indicated that many household items – even things like tomatoes or shampoo – can cause skin irritation in some sections of the population and that the rates we observed are as expected.
“Our investigation found that our manufacturing process is safe, which means that no unexpected or dangerous contaminants have been found in the foam interface or the Quest 2 manufacturing process.”
MailOnline reached out to Facebook for a comment, and although they refused to speak specifically about Lewis’ case, they provided a link to a blog post about the silicone case and its use to prevent rare skin reactions.