Denis Raev

Optometrists warn against 3D movies

SITTING too close to a TV may not turn your eyes square, but optometrists warn 3D movies can have dangerous effects on young children's sight.

Optometry Australia's senior resident optometrist Luke Arundel has called for parents to take extra care with their kids' eyesight this summer - especially at the movies.

He said Hollywood blockbusters like the new instalments of Hunger Games and The Hobbit were already on the 3D big screen and youngsters would no doubt be campaigning for tickets.

"For young children the glasses require the brain to work hard to process the images," Mr Arundel said.

"During a long movie, this can create tiredness and discomfort.

"Adults that are required to wear 3D glasses on top of their prescription glasses may also find the extra layer a little uncomfortable, but the glasses themselves won't damage the eyes or impair your vision".

"While we understand the pressure on parents to allow their children to participate in this type of activity, Optometry Australia's recommendation is to avoid allowing children under the age of six access to 3D content, and access for those up to the age of 13 should be no more than moderate."


What's the issue?

3D glasses work by filtering images so the left eye sees one image and the right eye sees a slightly different one

The brain then fuses them together to perceive a 3D image

For this to happen, the viewer's eyes must work well together

Where vision is underdeveloped or damaged, 3D glasses may cause fatigue or irritation


Optometry Australia's tips:

- Limit children's 3D viewing to short periods

- Read the warning labels before using 3D glasses

- Do not use 3D glasses as an alternative to sunglasses

- Ensure children play outdoors for a few hours each day

- Make sure your child takes regular breaks when using a computer, a tablet or smartphone of at least five to 10 minutes every hour

- Ensure that the room your child is using the device in is comfortably lit, so they don't have to strain their eyes

- If you notice anything unusual with your vision while focusing on the television or cinema screen consult your optometrist