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Scores of Hollywood’s latest blockbusters were released in theaters showing both a standard version (2D) and a 3D version. If you’ve ever been to one of the 3D showings, you know that you have to wear special glasses to experience the 3D effect of the movie. When 3D films were gaining popularity, many people were skeptical about the effects a 3D film might have on your vision. Today, some are still concerned.


You may be asking yourself, “How could a 3D film be bad for your eyes? Don’t we see in 3D every day?” It’s true that we see the world around us in three dimensions, but movies can’t achieve the 3D effect without special methods. 3D films need to be shot with two different cameras that have polarising filters designed to create the 3D effect. This effect is viewable only when the viewer wears the glasses designed to filter the polarization and bring the 3D effect to life.

It’s this method of creating 3D images that many suspect causes vision problems.


The polarization of 3D glasses filters light to each eye differently. This asks the muscles of each of your eyes to work separately, rather than in coordination with one another. Your eye muscles can begin to feel strained, causing headaches, dizziness, and nausea. These effects are usually temporary and can be averted by looking away from the screen for a few seconds.


Actually, no. The headaches and nausea are basically the result of stress from your eyes and brain having to work differently to process images. As far as your eyesight goes, there is no evidence suggesting that 3D movies cause long-term vision problems.

If you are more sensitive to headaches from 3D films, medical professionals recommend you take more breaks, or don’t watch them frequently. You should also try sitting farther from the screen, so your eyes don’t have to move as much.

3D movies may amplify the symptoms of an already existing condition, especially in children. If your eyestrain is significant and persistent, you might have another vision problem. If you are concerned, schedule an eye exam with your optometrist.

If you are experiencing eye discomfort or vision problems, or simply need an eye exam, please contact Silverstein Eye Care Centers. Call us today at (816) 358-3600 or request an appointment online. We can serve you at our convenient location in Independence/Kansas City.

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  1. Mike Hill says:

    From what I have read from research of my own it can cause a lazy eye because of the muscles working independently from one another where the eyes have trouble working together when people watch polarized 3D for long periods of time often. Though a lot of sites say “There is no information that indicates that.” I beg to differ raising the question about 3D TVs and how sales to those devices came to a stop pretty much over night. Yes, lots of customers ended up feeling head aches and sick companies like Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony have all drawn the same line that Polarized 3D can damage the muscles in the eye from prolong and excess use of polarized 3D. This was why 3D TVs stopped being made and sold to consumers as well as cost of making the products and how different TVs used different types of glasses that could not be used with one another. I seriously bring this up because my girlfriend works in a job where she spends 5 days a week between 10-12 hours a day looking through polarized 3D glasses and in year 2 of doing this job has trouble seeing at night, her eye sight is getting worse than it was 2 years ago where her eye sight stood the same. Head aches from any kind of screen light which I believe is the Blue waves and the flicker of the refresh rate. Because she does not get sick looking at my PC monitors that run at 240hz for PC gaming. If you think well it is because she is getting old… She is only 29. Yes the human body does slowly go down hill for males around the age of 27, females would be her age of 28-29. But eye sight and problems like a newly discovered lazy eye are not common for people her age. Which does raise a concern to me. There are studies that state otherwise that 3D in prolonged use are bad. The downside is a lot of pages like this one tend to cover up what real studies suggest or follow along with what other web pages repeat almost line for line. But yes there are studies based on this and I strongly suggest if you do like 3D enjoy it sparingly not in excess. And most importantly if you do use 3D a lot, make sure to rest your eyes the best you can by reading and doing other activities that keep your eyes working Stereoscopic not independently where it can cause your eye muscles to damage themselves from moving in irregular ways.


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