3-D Is Awesome, But Is It Safe?
We wonder, 'Could the multi-dimensional images be causing more serious problems, too?' JSYK consulted Dr. Jeremy D. Slater, Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston for answers.
First off, most people don't experience symptoms that make them feel uncomfortable while watching a 3-D movie for two hours. That's why Avatar could bank over a billion dollars worldwide. However, the longer you watch, the more likely you'll experience some symptoms.
"There are no studies published to date that suggest this would create permanent damage, but one has to be concerned that the increased time of exposure might lead to longer lasting visual difficulties," says Dr. Slater.
Don't worry, you don't need to put away your game controller. If you just bought your first 3-D video game, you shouldn't start out playing for hours at a time immediately. That totally increases your chances of getting a headache or having blurred vision. And if you do experience symptoms, take a break. Keep in mind that all side-effects should be minimal and quickly go away. If they don't, call a doctor.
There is a rare, yet treatable, serious condition associated with 3-D. "All projected images have a small chance of triggering a seizure or convulsion in a person who suffers from a condition called photosensitive epilepsy," explains Dr. Slater. Watching a 3-D movie, video game, or TV won't trigger a seizure in a healthy person, but people with this condition generally have their first seizure between ages 5 and 15.