Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is 3D Vision Syndrome?

The proliferation of 3D media in movies, video games and in the classroom is bring a new vision disorder into focus: 3D Vision Syndrome, or 3DVS.  Here is a video produced by the American Optometric Association that does a good job of summing up lots of science and research into a short and easily understandable presentation:

3DVS  is comprised of a group of symptoms that, taken together, indicate a functional vision disorder while watching 3D content. Symptoms include but are not limited to visual discomfort and fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, eyestrain, diplopia (double vision), dizziness/nausea and vision induced motion sickness after watching a 3D movie, 3D television or atfer playing a 3D video game.

Most people with 3DVS have an problem with the the way their eyes work together or focus.  Eye movement problems like this are often classified as binocular vision problems, the most common of which is convergence insufficiency.  Binocular vision problems are effectively treated with vision therapy.  To read research studies on convergence insufficiency and binocular binocular vision, click here.

A famous case of a developmental optometrist using vision therapy to treat 3D vision problems was the subject of the book Fixing My Gaze as well as the New Yorker piece by Oliver Sacks titled "Stereo Sue".