3D Movies and Your Eyes: All the Facts

There is little dispute that 3D movies are a treat for your eyes. Getting involved in a big screen movie is taken to a new level with the power of 3D. The technology is developed to make it appear that the action is actually coming out of the screen. When it’s done properly, the audience feels like they are a part of the movie. With new popular movies and video games in 3D options, there are more questions surrounding the technology and potential dangers to your eyes.

The Science

3D movies work by showing your eyes two different things at the same time. In the past, the effect was accomplished by the use of separate colors. However, the full effect of color was diminished.

Today, 3D movies use polarized light. The movie is recorded with two cameras positioned side by side. When the movie is shown, each reel is filtered through a different polarized lens. The glasses use the same polarizing effect to separate the two images again. The movie looks blurry without the glasses because your eyes are forced to see two images at the same time.

Do 3D Movies Cause Eye Damage?

There are a lot of scary warnings surrounding 3D movies and video games. This can be especially concerning if you are a parent. However, 3D technology is not believed to be dangerous for your eyes. The distance between your eyes can allow you to process different images with each eye, but in natural viewing, your eyes are accustomed to working together anyway. The symptoms that are most common while watching 3D movies are the effects of eye strain.

Viewing 3D technology forces the muscles that move your eyes to work in a new way. This may cause eye pain and headaches. Quickly changing scenes while getting used to this new movement can cause dizziness and nausea as well. The symptoms go away when you stop looking at the screen, and there are no known long-term effects.

Helpful Tips about 3D Movies and Your Eyes

If you notice unpleasant side effects while watching 3D movies, you can use a few easy tricks to make yourself more comfortable.

  • Take breaks: Looking away from the screen for a minute every once in a while can relax your eyes.
  • Move away from the screen: Sitting farther away from the screen can help you focus on the images more easily and prevent eye strain.
  • Start slow: Instead of watching for long periods of time, start with short sections.
  • Exercise your eyes: Blinking, closing your eyes, and rolling your eyes can help avoid fatigue.

If you continue to have difficulties while watching 3D movies, there might be an underlying problem to consider. Contact one of our eye doctor’s offices today to schedule a vision exam.

Contact us at Michigan Eye Institute to learn more about 3D movies and your eyes or general eye care.

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