Vision problems may play spoilsport in viewing 3D movies

May 20th, 2010 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 20 (IANS) Vision problems may play spoilsport for many in watching 3D blockbusters, experts say.
Movies like “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” have already left their mark on the 3D screen, even as more such movies are lined up for release. ESPN and the Discovery Channel are preparing to follow suit with telecasts.

“Quite simply, people who have even a small vision misalignment or those who don’t have equal vision in both eyes may not be able to see 3D images properly,” said Leonard Press, chairman of the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Paediatrics and Binocular Vision Committee.

“Individuals with unstable focusing or difficulty in coordinating vision with other senses can experience headaches and other uncomfortable side effects from viewing 3D movies,” he said.

AOA says anywhere from three to nine million people have problems with binocular vision prohibiting them from watching 3D TV and movies.

Binocular vision is the ability to align both eyes accurately on an object and combine the visual images from each eye into a single, indepth perception.

The problem comes from fatigue caused when 3D technology forces the eyes to make adjustments to focus simultaneously on images that are near and far away.

Symptoms indicating a potential problem with the ability to see images in 3D vary from person to person.

According to AOA American Eye-Q® survey, the majority of individuals who suffer from 3D vision complications most often experience headaches (13 percent), blurred vision (12 percent) and dizziness (11 percent).

The AOA recommends seeing a doctor of optometry for further evaluation if consumers answer yes to any of the following questions:

- Is the 3D viewing experience not as vivid as it is for others watching the same picture?

- Do you experience eyestrain or headaches during or after viewing?

- Do you feel nauseous or dizzy during or after viewing?

- Are you more comfortable viewing 2D TV or movies instead of 3D TV/movies?

- Is it difficult for your eyes to adjust back to normal after watching 3D TV/movies?

Research shows that up to 56 percent of those aged 18 to 38 have symptoms related to a binocular vision problem, said an AOA release.

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