With more and more movies coming out in 3-D, a lot of our patients are asking us whether watching 3-D is bad for their eyes. Many parents are also concerned for their children’s developing eyesight. If big action 3-D movies are your thing, we’ve got good news for you. According to our eye experts, there is no medical evidence to support the idea that watching 3-D movies or playing 3-D games will harm your children’s eyesight or your own.
In fact, according to Susan Primo, O.D., M.P.H., of the Emory Eye Center, 3-D technology can actually help detect underlying visual problems in both children and adults that might otherwise go undiagnosed. This is because people who have visual problems may experience significant discomfort while watching a 3-D movie.
3-D films work by altering our binocular vision, or how both our eyes work together to see. If your eyes are irritated or tired after a 3-D movie, this is most likely a reaction to adjusting the way you see, much as you would with a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. Tired or irritated eyes usually are not an indication of a real problem.
However, factors that create poor binocular vision, such as a lazy eye, can be aggravated by 3-D. If watching a 3-D movie makes you dizzy or nauseated or gives you a headache, you should probably have your vision checked. Vision problems caused by weak eye muscles or poor eye coordination often can be corrected or improved with vision therapy.
If your child complains of serious discomfort when watching 3-D movies, go ahead and make an appointment with an eye care provider. Children, in particular, don’t always know when their vision isn’t what it should be, and the same problems that make 3-D viewing challenging can also cause your child to have difficulty in school or at sports. It’s good to catch the problem early, as younger eye muscles are easier to train through therapy.
Do 3-D movies bother your eyes? Do you think you may have an underlying visual problem? We’d like to hear about your experience. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.