Visual experts tell us if 3D movies are bad for your eyesight, are there any limits on the number of viewings and how people with low vision should view 3D movies.
3D technology and its effects on vision
Volumetric movies that have captivated the cinema industry are made like this: scenes are shot with a camera and two lenses. Each lens captures the picture from its perspective, that is, for the right and left eyes separately.
This provides a three-dimensional picture – the right and left eyes are shown different frames. The visual system combines these frames and tries to create a whole picture, which turns out three-dimensional.
As such, it does not cause serious harm to vision, at least until a single study aimed at identifying harm from 3D-films, have not found evidence of it.
However, in the short term, three-dimensional movies can cause discomfort. Prolonged viewing of stereo images causes rapid eye fatigue. Some people experience dizziness, eye pain, even nausea and disorientation after watching 3D movies.
The reason for this is that the brain perceives the information coming through the eyes to be out of sync. But the visual system has never before perceived and processed information in this way. In addition, in modern films the picture is changing too quickly, which only increases the strain on the vision. This strains the visual system, which can cause the asthenopic symptoms described above.
As we have already said, this has no serious consequences other than prolonged discomfort. However, this is only true for people who do not have visual impairments.
It is also worth remembering about hygiene issues. The 3D glasses you are given at the cinema have been previously used by other people. Proper treatment of products in the theater may not pay due attention, which means that there is a risk of catching an eye infection.
Who should not watch 3D movies
Although there are no official contraindications, experts do not recommend watching 3D movies, both in cinemas and at home, to the following people:
Children under the age of 8 – their visual apparatus is just developing and undergoing an adaptation process. Frequent viewing of 3D movies can disrupt this process. Of course, from one trip to the cinema it is unlikely to happen, but there is a high probability that asthenopic symptoms in children of this age will manifest themselves more strongly than in adults;
People with a high degree of any visual impairment, strabismus and problems with binocular vision – for them watching a movie in 3D can be a real challenge. The visual system, already strained, will be overloaded. As a result, the person will experience long-lasting discomfort, which may even manifest as temporary visual impairment. A headache for the whole evening is also ensured.
Can 3D glasses be worn over correction glasses?
You can, but not desirable. In this case your eyes will be strained more, and you will quickly tire due to the increased pressure on the bridge of your nose. It is important to carefully put on and take off the 3D optics so as not to touch your glasses or scratch the lenses.
In general, putting 3D glasses on top of conventional glasses will not cause any harm, but nevertheless, ophthalmologists advise to replace corrective lenses with contact lenses when viewing three-dimensional images, if possible.
Recommendations of ophthalmologists when watching 3D movies
- To avoid contracting an infectious eye disease, wipe 3D glasses with a disinfectant damp cloth before use;
- If you wear corrective glasses, put on and take off your 3D optics carefully to avoid damaging your corrective device;
- If you have the option of replacing your glasses with contact lenses during a session, do that - it will reduce the strain on your eyes and the bridge of your nose;
- Do not get addicted to watching three-dimensional movies. It is advisable to attend such sessions no more than once a month;
- Choose the last rows in the cinema, this way your eyes will be less tired. If you watch 3D movies at home, make sure the distance to the TV is at least 5 meters;
- Use stereo glasses only for their intended purpose, take them off immediately after the end of the film;
- During a long session it is better to take short breaks. Take off the glasses and give your eyes a chance to rest: first, sit with your eyes closed, and then move them clockwise and counterclockwise.