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Do 3-D Movies Affect Vision Health?
If you have difficulty seeing in 3-D, you're not alone. Nausea, headache and fatigue are common complaints after people watch these movies. Symptoms occur if you have problem with your binocular vision. When you use binocular vision, both of your eyes work together to help your brain produce one image. You may not know that you have this problem until you try to watch a 3-D movie. A small percentage of people only have monocular vision, which occurs when one eye does all the work, while other people do have some binocular vision, but not enough to see 3-D images clearly.
Kids and 3-D Movies
Pay attention if your child complains that he or she does not like watching anything in 3-D. Difficulty viewing these movies or games can be a symptom of correctable vision problems, such as depth perception issues, focusing difficulties, strabismus (misaligned eyes) or amblyopia.
What Can I Do About It?
Vision therapy can help you train your eyes to work together if viewing 3-D movies is a challenge. Therapy is also effective in improving visual problems caused by amblyopia or strabismus. With therapy from a skilled vision therapist, you will never again have to sit out in the lobby while your friends enjoy the latest 3-D blockbuster.
It's hard to imagine life without digital technology. In just a few minutes, you can update a spreadsheet, check the balance in your checking account or change your social media status on your computer, laptop, iPad or smartphone. Although technology makes life much easier, it does have certain drawbacks. Not surprisingly, looking at a screen all day can affect your vision.
Too Much Screen Time Causes a Range of Symptoms
After staring at large and small screens for hours, your eyes start to rebel, which results in a variety of unpleasant symptoms. The condition is referred to as computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain. CVS occurs when your eyes must continually refocus to see the words on the page perfectly. Computer fonts and images are much harder to see than printed versions because digital images are actually made up of a series of small dots called pixels. Your eyes must focus intently to make sense of those dots when you read your latest text or watch the latest viral YouTube video. Symptoms of CVS include:
Blurred or Double Vision. When your eyes become tired, it's harder to focus. Words and images may begin to look blurry, and you may even see two of everything.
Eyestrain and Headaches. Spending hours looking at a screen can cause eye strain. When you read, your eye muscles change the size of your lenses to make reading easier. If those muscles must work overtime, eyestrain and headaches occur. Headaches can also be a problem if you use a bright background with dark print or have the contrast setting on your computer set too high. CVS can even trigger migraine headaches in some people.
Neck Pain. Straining to see the words on your screen can literally cause a pain in your neck and shoulders.
Dry Eyes. Dry, itchy eyes are another symptom of computer vision syndrome. When you look at things at close range, you blink less often. Blinking is important because it helps spread lubricating mucus and oil over your eyes.
Watery Eyes. Watery eyes can actually also be a symptom of dry eyes. When your eyes begin to dry out, your tear glands unleash a torrent of tears in an attempt to correct the problem.
Fatigue. Trying to focus on tiny pixels all day can not only make your eyes tired, but can make you feel fatigued and ready for a nap.
What Can You Do?
Periodic breaks from your computer, phone or iPad are a must, but there are also a few other things you can do to reduce vision problems, such as:
Change Font Sizes. Increase font sizes so that you don't have to squint when you read. On your computer, click "Control" and the plus sign to increase the type on the page you are viewing.
Keep the Screen Farther from Your Eyes. The closer the screen to your eyes, the harder your eyes must work to see clearly.
Buy Eye Drops. Eye drops will help keep your eyes lubricated during screen time.
Adjust Your Monitor. Place your monitor so that it is approximately 5" lower than eye level for maximum comfort.
Try Vision Therapy. Vision therapists can teach you exercises and other techniques that will help your eyes work together more efficiently when you view digital screens.
Interested in learning how vision therapy can help you? Call us today and schedule an appointment.
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"Dr. Sapossnek is an excellent optometrist. She has my complete trust. She is so thorough in her exams and includes parents in conversation and education, so I know and understand all the facets of my children's vision. All of the above [in the Patient Satisfaction Survey are] EXCELLENT, no need to elaborate. I feel fortunate to have found Dr. Sapossnek and am glad all of us can go to her-both for my child with vision therapy needs, daughter and I with glasses, and son who needs neither."
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