Millions of Americans unable to see in 3-D but help is available in the form of optometric vision therapy
Is 3-D technology the way of the future? It seems as though it’s being offered to consumers more and more in the form of blockbuster films, 3-D televisions, 3D computer games and even in the classroom to improve learning.
Since 3-D technology is all the rage, the MommyTech Summit at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show will be discussing the pros and cons of 3D movies, televisions, video-games and as an educational tool in the classroom. “3-D Moms” will be one of the agenda topics during the conference on Saturday, January 8, 2011 beginning at 10:15 a.m. in room N260 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dr. Dominick Maino is an American Optometric Association 3-D expert and a professor of pediatrics/binocular vision at the Illinois College of Optometry’s Illinois Eye Institute. Dr. Maino will be participating in a panel discussion to talk about 3-D Vision Syndrome and why some children and adults are unable to see in 3-D, as well as what steps can be taken to fix the problem.
“According to the American Optometric Association, anywhere from three to nine million people have problems with binocular vision prohibiting them from watching 3-D TV and movies,” said Dr. Maino. “Children are at higher risk for having undetected binocular vision problems because most only receive a simple vision screening that doesn’t check for problems that interfere with 3-D viewing. Instead, children should visit their local optometrist to receive a comprehensive eye examination.”
Binocular vision is the ability to align and focus both eyes accurately on an object and then combine the visual images from each eye into a single, clear three dimensional perception. A problem comes from fatigue that occurs when 3-D technology forces the eyes to make adjustments to focus simultaneously on images that are near and far away.
Symptoms indicating a potential problem viewing images in 3-D can vary, but some common symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, nausea and dizziness.
“The good news for those who experience discomfort associated with 3-D viewing is that there’s treatment that corrects most of the problems that interfere with using 3-D content,” said Dr. Maino. “As the industry expands its 3-D technology offerings, it’s important that adults and children have their vision checked to ensure they are able to enjoy it as much as possible; and if they have difficulties, they should see their doctor of optometry.”
Studies have shown that optometric vision therapy can help alleviate common problems associated with 3-D viewing and make the experience of using the technology more enjoyable. Optometric vision therapy is a sequence of therapeutic procedures individually prescribed and monitored by an optometrist to develop efficient visual skills and processing. Following a comprehensive eye examination, the optometrist may prescribe vision therapy if the results of the exam indicate a need, and if it is determined an appropriate treatment option for the patient. A vision therapy program is based on the results of standardized tests, the needs of the patient, and the patient’s signs and symptoms. Optometric vision therapy re-educates the brain to achieve single, clear, comfortable, two-eyed vision that improves eye coordination, focusing and eye movement, ultimately enhancing the 3-D viewing experience.
The AOA recommends seeing a doctor of optometry for further evaluation if consumers answer yes to any of the following questions:
– Is the 3-D viewing experience not as vivid as it is for others watching the same picture?
– Do you experience eyestrain or headaches during or after viewing?
– Do you feel nauseous or dizzy during or after viewing?
– Are you more comfortable viewing 2-D TV or movies instead of 3-D TV/movies?
– Is it difficult for your eyes to adjust back to normal after watching 3-D TV/movies?
The AOA also recommends visiting a doctor of optometry on an annual basis for comprehensive eye exams to help ensure healthy vision overall.