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The 3D revolution has seriously shaken the way we recognize technology. This new technology has made our, gaming, TV watching experience more thrilling.

Big screen LCD and LED TVs are so outdated, if TV manufacturers are to be believed the hottest consumer electronic product of the year is a 3- Dimensional TV. Lets understand more about this new technology and its effect on the eyes.

The first and the foremost question that arises is what is 3D? or what is this new technology that is attracting the whole world including children?

3 D technology refers to three dimensional technology that is used in films, television and gaming that provides some kind of illusion of depth perception and viewers or gamers enjoy a different kind of experience to this technology.

How does the 3-D Technology work?

We see things because our eyes reflect the light focused off to the item, and our brain interprets the light and creates a picture in our minds.

The 3d technology displays two images and by wearing a special pair of glasses the two images are such that each eye sees only one of the two images. The images are horizontally displaced by a small amount as a result the brain assumes that the two images are actually one and try to fuse them together. The wider the displacement, the object appears further to us and narrower the displacement, the object appears closer to us.

Effects of 3D on the eyes

Though there is a growing craze of watching 3D TV, more and more viewers are expected to have eye problems. This is mainly because watching sports like cricket or football have quicker movements and watching them on 3D TV would mean straining the eye to focus.

Well known ophthalmologist Dr Rajesh Kapoor says, “Watching 3D content causes many physical reactions or health problems like dizziness, headache, vomiting etc because it creates unnatural eye movements, like our eye balls rotates inwards and we try to focus on a spot instead of screen which confuses our brain and causes extreme eye strain, in short it actually forces the eyes to work extremely hard.”

Studies suggest pregnant women, children, elderly and those suffering from serious medical conditions are in a higher risk bracket.

A minor headache after watching a 3d movie is not serious but a long lasting headache, disorientation or nausea could be due to an underlying eye problem.  These symptoms should not be ignore especially in case of children as it could be due to undetected eye problems like squint or “wandering” eye, and amblyopia, more commonly known as “lazy eye”, in which one eye has impaired vision.

Well Known Ophthalmologist Dr Kalpesh Shah from Kohinoor hospital says, “Many individuals experience a slight headache or disorientation after watching a 3D movie because our eyes are trained to watch images in one plane which requires minimal efforts by the eye.  The effects could be temporary, but the consequences that could be caused in the long run have not been proved. It is advisable that parents should refrain children from using this technology for a longer duration of time.”

 “People suffering from ‘two eyed depth perception’ or impaired stereoscopic vision cannot experience 3D technology” says Dr Rajesh Kapoor.

Watching 3D content can be exhausting

Watching 3D content means being hooked to the technology wearing glasses and hence no dinner breaks, no flipping through newspaper or magazines during the commercials. This demands a lot of concentration and can hence lead to sensory overload and can make the individual feel exhausted after a few hours of watching 3D content.

Measures to be taken while watching 3D

Dr. Rajesh Kapoor says, “Kids should not be allowed to watch or play 3D games for extended periods. Meanwhile the best thing to be done or the precautions to be taken while watching 3D is

  • Take regular breaks, as it gives your eyes a chance to relax
  • Reduce the eye strain by setting the brightness and contrast to low.”
  • If you face any discomfort after watching 3d content it is suggested that you should consult the doctor as soon as possible.

Tips to take care of your eyes

Most individuals realize that they have an eye problem when it becomes difficult for them to see. It is suggested that kids as well as adults should have a yearly check up with an eye specialist.

The future of entertainment may be three dimensional but for a large number of viewers it could be anything but an enjoyable experience, so make use of technology within limits to avoid distress.


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