3D movies: Cool effects can leave some feeling ill
OREGON, July 11 — Hollywood's 3D revolution has boosted film sales and drawn scores of viewers to the latest blockbusters, but some complain of nausea, headaches, and eye pain. Now a new study finds that younger viewers and those sitting close to the screen are more likely to feel the ill effects of 3D flicks.
“3-D movies are only good as long as you're not feeling terrible,” said study lead author Shun-Nan Yang, a senior scientist at Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon, US.
In the study, which was funded by technology company Intel, researchers recruited 203 teens and adults to watch the 2009 family film “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” on a large-screen LCD television. Some watched it in regular 2D; others viewed it in 3D.
For the 2D viewers, 12 percent reported feeling symptoms of discomfort compared to 20 percent of the 3D viewers. Those who watched the 3D version were likely to report more eye pain, pulling sensation in the eyes, blurred vision, double vision, dizziness and disorientation, with symptoms often increasing within 15 minutes after watching the film.
The good news is that symptoms are brief and temporary, and can be minimised by sitting farther away from the screen, Yang added.
Viewers aged 24 to 34 were bothered more by the 3D images than older viewers, those 46 and older especially, the researchers found. The rationale? Older viewers may be less sensitive to visual stimulations or perhaps deterioration of the eyes makes the 3D effects less immersive, suggested the researchers.
The study appears in the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science.
Last year, findings presented at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting suggested that 3D offers no measurable improvement in enjoyment for a vast majority of filmgoers, and the films increased threefold the risk of eyestrain, headache, and blurred vision. — AFP/Relaxnews