Around the world, more than 30,000 theaters screen 3D movies, reflecting the increasing demand for them. If you enjoy watching 3D movies, you may be curious about whether they have a negative impact on your eyesight. Dr. Sandra Belmont shares the answer.
Stereoscopic Vision and 3D Movies
Our eyes are designed to work together as a team. When processing visual images, each eye sees the same image slightly differently. The two different perceptions are both transmitted to the area of the brain responsible for visual processing. The brain then fuses both images together, creating the one image that we see. This process is called “stereopsis,” or stereo vision.
Looking at flat two-dimensional images, such as the ones on the computer monitor or television screen, does not necessarily require the use of stereo vision. Viewing 3D images does, however. Also, when looking at the artificially created images in 3D movies, our brain must work harder to fuse them together in correct sequence, allowing us to view both the image and its 3D effect properly.
Why Some 3D Moviegoers Suffer Negative Side Effects
Watching 3-D movies from time to time should not have a negative impact on your eyes. Yet some 3-D movie viewers suffer from blurred vision, headaches and even nausea after watching a 3D movie. Why is this?
The most probable explanation is that these audience members have an existing vision condition that has not yet been diagnosed. Watching 3D movies in stereo vision simply exposes the underlying condition. For example, experiencing the symptoms above while watching a 3-D movie or right after it might indicate that the viewer has muscle weakness in one eye that is exacerbated by wearing 3D glasses and viewing a 3D movie.
If you experience any of these symptoms after watching a 3D movie, schedule an appointment with Dr. Belmont. She will examine your eye health and let you know whether you have an existing vision condition. If so, she will recommend effective vision correction treatment options for you.