Does 3D Entertainment always mean Motion-Sickness?

3d viewingIn your youth, you may have never missed the chance to catch a flick like Jaws 3D, or even Shrek 4D. Such films are not the norm, so they hold a special sense of magic about them. If you are among an elite few who find that you start to feel nauseous and dizzy sometime soon after donning those specialized 3D glasses, that sense of magic is diminished for you. This could leave you wondering if everyone has the same experience, or if there is something about you that makes it impossible to sit through this type of movie.

The bad news is, it’s you. The good news is, there isn’t anything to worry about. Let’s look at the nature of 3D, and how it relates to natural vision. This may help you go easy on yourself the next time Godzilla and King Kong come to town.

3D is the Norm

Your eyesight has been what it’s been for your entire life. You’ve never had to think about how you see; you just do it! The eyes work together to create a view in which there are depth and dimension, 3-dimensions. The objects you view are not flat; they are all sorts of different shapes. They are so because your eyes can observe them as such. The way it works is that your left eye has a slightly different perspective than your right. Close one eye, then the other, and you will see what we mean. Part of the reason why 3D films are so fascinatingly strange is that they mimic the natural workings of the eyes.

How Art Imitates Form

The artistry of 3D filmmaking imitates nature by filming through lenses that sit in the same manner as the eyes. Two lenses, about two inches apart. It’s pretty simple. When the moving images of each lens are projected onto the screen, there is an overlap due to the variation in perspective from each lens. Because the eyes already do this, it is not possible to observe the 3D movie without special glasses.

So What Goes Wrong?

The folks who cannot get the full enjoyment of a 3D film even with polarized glasses have nothing “wrong” with them. It’s just that their eyes overlap their unique perspective a little too much, or not quite enough. The small variance is enough to cause the disturbance in the brain that is trying to interpret what the eyes are seeing. The result? That icky motion-sick feeling!

Beyond explaining why you may have to skip the next Godzilla vs. King Kong battle. We are here to support you in long term eye health. Give us a call to schedule your routine exam!

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