Don’t Love 3D? It Might Be Your Eyes

Posted Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM PST by Mike Attebery

Your television may be 3D ready, and your Blu-ray player may be 3D ready but the College of Optometrists warns that you might not be.

So you saw Avatar but weren’t blown away by the 3D effects. 3D televisions haven’t impressed you, and you’re generally blasé about viewing anything three dimensionally. It could be that you’re a viewer with a defined sense of taste, or, according to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), it could be your eyes.

The technology behind 3D movies involves two images being shown on the screen. The glasses you wear make sure only one eye sees each image, and your brain puts those two together to create a 3D effect. According to the COVD there is a significant part of the population that is unable to view 3D due to vision problems.

Around 56% of those between the ages of 18 and 38, for example, have one or more problems with binocular vision that would inhibit their viewing experience. Around five percent have amblyopia (also known as ‘lazy eye’) or strabismus, both of which make 3D viewing impossible.

Kenneth J. Ciuffreda, a professor at SUNY, State College of Optometry, says that visual motion sensitivity (VMH) may be an issue as well. “People who have visual motion hypersensitivity will find Avatar quite challenging to view.” Those with VMH will often feel dizzy when watching movies in two dimensions, and three dimensional movies cause them to feel nauseated and stressed.

There’s hope, according to the COVD. Many of these conditions can be helped or eliminated thanks to vision therapy, and it can help even those who have had eye surgeries in the past.

Source: College of Optometrists in Vision Development

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