There’s no denying that all things 3D has surged in popularity through the roof in recent years, especially within commercial movies, video games, and other forms of popular entertainment. The rise and expansion of three-dimensional technology, however, raises various concerns about the possible adverse side effects on viewers. Is 3-D healthy for your eyes? Do the increased rating of symptoms of nausea, oculomotor, and disorientation or the studies claiming that the viewing of 3D stereoscopic stimuli can cause vision disorders to manifest in previously asymptomatic individuals actually hold true? Here is all you need to know about how 3D glasses work and how 3D entertainment affects our vision.
How 3D Glasses Work
So, while there are die-hard 3D moviegoers all around, it seems that many do in fact struggle to see the images shown come to life and leap off the screen. The American Optometric Association estimated that 3–9 million Americans have problems in binocular vision and, consequently, in viewing 3D movies. Because 3D films attempt to imitate how we see things dimension-wise, the toll it takes on our vision is definitely something worth taking note of.
In the theater (as well as in television and gaming systems), the use of 3D aids the events on the screen to feel more real, putting the audience right in the middle of the action. Yet, because our eyes are several inches apart from one another and each have a different perspective, each eye actually holds a slightly different view of the world. It is the brain that learns to fuse the two images, allowing one 3D image to form– and since 3D movies are filmed using two lenses spaced about two to three inches apart (like the eyes), most 3D films appear fuzzy or blurry when looked at without special glasses. The filters on 3D glasses allow one image to enter each eye, helping our minds create the illusion of a three-dimensional image, just as they would in the real world.
3D Movies and Headaches
For 3D entertainment to work and actually be enjoyed, good binocular vision is needed. If both eyes are not in complete coordination with one another, the proper three-dimensional effect cannot be attained.
Unfortunately, 30% of the population suffers from marginal binocular vision, meaning that their visual coordination is slightly off, making them more susceptible to negative side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea while watching 3D films.
How to Protect Those Eyes
If you’re an avid 3D fan but suffer from monocular or borderline binocular vision, ways to help reduce the effects of engagement with 3D entertainment might include vision therapy or a series of special techniques that help people learn how to better coordinate the eyes. Many eye doctors specialize in binocular vision therapy and techniques used in the past have often extended to viewing of 3D images.
Also make sure to apply the 20-20-20 rule when enjoying 3D entertainment. A regular habit of taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to stretch, breathe, and focus on something 20 feet away not only allows for a chance to rest and relax, but also for lessened chances of red eyes, headaches, and squinting. Basically, as with the use of anything, moderation is key.
Let Us Help
If you are experiencing negative side effects while watching 3D movies, or simply have trouble viewing them, it is time to get your eyes checked. To learn more about the effects of 3D on vision or to schedule a consultation to help lead towards clearer sight, contact Laser for Eyes today. The human eye is marvelously complex and our goal is to keep it healthy!