With all the 3-D movies being made in the last couple of years, many people started wondering if viewing these movies could be harmful to your vision. The perception that they may harm your vision came about because many people have reported experiencing headaches, dizziness, and nausea after viewing a 3-D film. However, these symptoms are not an indication that 3-D movies are hurting your eyes.
In fact, according to the American Optometry Association, watching 3-D movies can actually help your vision by bringing to light vision problems that may not have been noticed before. The reason for this is because viewing 3-D movies makes your eyes work a litter harder. They have to take in information in a different way than watching a regular movie does.
The American Optometry Association says that vision problems may be detected in one out of every four children that watch a 3-D movie. There are some specific signs to look for during or after watching 3-D movies. If you or your child experiences them, you may catch an issue early on.
Signs and Symptoms
Watching 3-D movies can take some getting used to–you’re forcing your brain to process images differently, after all. However, not every discomfort you experience watching a 3-D movie is cause for concern. For example, everyone feels a little uncomfortable in the bridge of their nose when watching 3-D movies. This is because the glasses you use probably haven’t been professionally fit to your head. However, there are some signs and symptoms you should look out for when watching movies in 3-D:
Eye strain – Eye strain may occur while watching 3-D movies if your eyes are having trouble working together to process the information you are seeing.
Dizziness – You may experience some dizziness, sometimes accompanied by nausea, because your eyes are not aligned properly.
Inability to see 3-D images – Some people are unable to see the 3-D effects on the screen at all. Others can see the images but they are not as pronounced as they are to other people.
These are all signs and symptoms of possible underlying vision issues that have not been previously detected. As such, they could be a cause for concern. These symptoms are not brought on because of watching 3-D movies; they are only brought to light because of 3-D movies, which means 3-D movies can actually help your vision. Those who experience these symptoms while watching 3-D movies may never have known that they have a vision problem otherwise.
If you experience these problems while watching 3-D movies, you should schedule a visit to see your eye doctor and have them perform a comprehensive eye exam to figure out what exactly is going on with your vision. At that point, they will be able to come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Detecting Other Problems
Professionals recommend that everyone receive regular eye exams – usually every two years for most people. However, it’s not realistic to think that everyone follows that recommendation. So, there are many people who may have vision problems they won’t know about until they receive a comprehensive eye exam.
Comprehensive eye exams can also reveal other health issues in addition to vision problems. Eye doctors can detect conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can also detect Crohn’s disease just by examining your eyes. The reason eye doctors can detect these conditions is that your eyes are made up of blood vessels and nerves.
These conditions mainly affect blood vessels and nerves throughout the body, including your eyes.
Comprehensive eye exams also help doctors detect more serious vision problems. Some examples of these include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Many of these diseases have virtually no symptoms until the damage they cause is irreversible. That’s why it’s so important that you see your eye doctor often and make sure you understand your family’s eye health history. That way, you’ll know what to look for and you may be able to catch any serious problems early on.
Improving Eyesight with 3-D Viewing and Vision Training
It’s clear that 3-D movies can help you identify eye issues you may already be experiencing. However, some people have found that they can help actually improve their vision, too.
People who have suffered their whole lives with depth perception vision impairments finding improvement after watching 3-D movies. There is one possible reason for their depth perception improvements. It may be that 3-D images can actually help train the eyes to focus correctly.
That’s not to say that everyone with depth perception issues will notice an improvement in their vision after watching 3-D movies. Some viewers may see improvement in their vision and find a different perspective on their surroundings. It all depends on the nature of their issues.
This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.