If you have recently gone to a 3-D movie with expectations of having a thrilling experience, only to wind up with a horrific headache, vertigo or even nausea – you are not alone.
Effects of 3-D films
What factors are in place that let one person enjoy a movie in popular 3-D, yet causes a headache and other unpleasant side effects for another person? The answer to that question is still being investigated, but one reason may be due to eye strain.
If you are prone to headaches, migraines or suffer from motion sickness, you may be more likely to suffer some annoying and sometimes painful effects of watching 3-D movies. You might think twice before giving these movies, home 3-D TV or 3-D video games a try.
What is 3-D?
When you watch a 3-D movie, you are actually seeing two images (one for each eye) on the screen. These images are separated by a precise distance that enhances the perception of depth and merges the images into one when the viewer wears 3-D glasses. Our eyes try to focus at various distances and track approaching objects by turning inward, toward our noses (something like when we look at our finger approaching our nose to make us temporarily cross-eyed). This causes a mismatch between where our eyes think they should focus and where the screen actually is, resulting in eye strain.
For a movie to be fully enjoyed in 3-D without suffering from discomfort, both eyes must be in excellent focus. If you have less than perfect binocular vision, the images may not be perceived together – which may result in discomfort presented as a headache or vertigo.
Compounding these problems are 3-D home TVs and video games. With the screens being viewed at a closer proximity, the problem is magnified and the likelihood of discomfort and eye strain is increased.
Miami Headache Institute
The medical professionals at the Miami Headache Institute have devoted years of research and study to helping people who suffer from headaches. Our goal is to identify the causes of your chronic headaches so that we are able to effectively treat them. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about your headaches and how you can become one of the many patients that we have helped become pain-free.