Today’s technology has brought us 3D TVs, networks and even gaming systems that bring the sensation of a movie theatre into our own home. So, with all of the 3D movies and other technology around us, how does it impact our eyes? Is there a risk to our eyesight, and do some of us have a greater risk than others?
Displaying 3D images on the screen is a relatively simple process. 3D images are created because two different images are presented on screen, separated by a certain distance to enrich depth perception. 3D glasses filter light and present various images to each eye, making the scene on the screen blurry. When eyes aren’t focusing or if they have a tendency to misalign, it may be hard for that person to comfortably enjoy a 3D show or film. About 5 percent of the population can’t perceive 3D images because they are only able to use one eye to see (having monocular vision). In summary, to view any 3D images you must have two eyes that work together in unison and as a coordinated team.
Lack of healthy binocular vision may make you feel tired and nauseous, even inducing a headache after watching a 3D movie because your eyes may be struggling with coordination. So, how can you enjoy that 3D movie, with popcorn in hand, if you have problems perceiving 3D images? It makes sense to find out if you have an underlying visual problem and determine if supervised vision therapy would be beneficial.
3D movies have been around for a long time, and studies indicate that they do not cause any long-term damage or stress to the eyes. However, keep in mind that a child’s visual system is not mature yet and they are less capable of handling visual stress. One type of visual stress occurs when 3D images are being transmitted on the screen. As parents, limiting your child’s exposure to gaming, smartphones and other devices is a good way to make sure their vision development is healthy and not causing any additional stress to their eyes.
Children who have eye conditions like amblyopia, strabismus or any condition that may inhibit their ability to focus may also have difficulty seeing a 3D screen. This doesn’t mean that vision disorders can be caused by 3D digital products or viewing, but can mean that children (or adults) with these vision disorders may be more likely to have headaches or eye fatigue when viewing 3D digital images.
If you begin to notice that you get headaches after watching a 3D movie or if you find yourself squinting, it’s important to follow the 20-20-20 rule which is take a 20-second break for every 20 minutes you are focused on a screen and try to look at something about 20 feet away. This will help rest your eyes, taking a break from the screen, and also decrease the chances of eye-strain. Teach your children at an early age to also follow the 20-20-20 rule. It also may be time to schedule an appointment with Vision for Life!
Here are some other ways to protect your eyes from 3D strain and enjoy the movie or game-watching experience:
- You can customize 3D glasses just like you can have prescription glasses or contacts. This eliminates the need to wear 3D glasses over your own pair of prescription glasses.
- Special 3D glasses with special prisms may also help fix impaired focus and eye coordination problems.
- Schedule an appointment at Vision for Life and start an individualized and supervised treatment program today if you notice you or a loved one has vision challenges when viewing 3D.
At Vision for Life, we can find out if your uncomfortable 3D viewing experience is the result of an underlying eye problem. We are able to detect certain conditions that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, so you can begin enjoying those blockbusters again! Find us online at http://visionforlifeworks.com/ or call us at 618-288-1489 to schedule an appointment today.