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3D Movies Make Some Moviegoers Sick

The Unintended Side Effects of Movies in 3D

The 3D trend may be great for the movie and television industries, but it's literally making some moviegoers sick. In five percent of the population, moves in 3D can actually induce motion sickness. The cause lies in your eyes; 3D movies impose two slightly different images on top of one another, creating depth perception. Both of your eyes have to work together to create the proper three-dimensional image, and when this doesn't happen properly, you can experience side effects.

Though most people aren't likely to experience motion sickness from a 3D film, as many as 30 percent of the movie-going population suffers from a milder vision issue, causing side effects like headaches and eye strain. "The problem comes in with people who have 3D vision but have a weak fusional mechanism. Your eyes are having to work harder. The brain is sending extra impulses to keep the eyes in alignment," says a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. When forcing your eyes to view 3D images for an extended period of time, viewers can start to feel eye strain, fatigue, or in extreme cases, motion sickness.

Conflicting messages to your brain add to your body's confusion. When you're watching an extremely realistic movie in 3D, but sitting still, your brain processes a false sense of movement. In sensitive viewers, this is leads to the nausea and headaches associated with motion sickness. If watching movies in 3D makes you queasy — but not queasy enough to give up your beloved flicks — an over-the-counter motion sickness medication should give you some relief.

Image Source: Getty
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GummiBears GummiBears 5 years
As long as I have the polarized glasses I am fine.
new new 5 years
This happened to me for the first time when I saw Alice in Wonderland. I saw it one time in one city and everything was fine, but when I saw it again at another theater I had different glasses and I got a horrible headache from it. the images weren't as beautiful as the first time either. It got so bad that I started seeing a blur and part of my face and my arm became tingly and numb. I had to take of the glasses once every few seconds. I never realised this could happen.
inlove23 inlove23 5 years
I really hate the 3-D trend because I get the worst headaches. I have to take the glasses off every now and again. ugh! when will it end?!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 5 years
I found out long ago when I tried to see Jaws 3D as a kid that I had vertigo and the movie triggered it.So honestly I've tried to avoid 3d films since then what the was the 80s so over 20 years. But when I was in school the instructor insisted on showing a 3D short. I asked to be excused because it was gonna trigger my vertigo I was told no. She changed her tuned when I fell out of my seat from losing my balance while sitting. Then the instructor paid because as I got up to leave against her wishes I hurled right on her feet.She didn't think vertigo was real or could be triggered by a 3D movie. Now she knows, so do her Clarks shoes.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 5 years
I found out long ago when I tried to see Jaws 3D as a kid that I had vertigo and the movie triggered it. So honestly I've tried to avoid 3d films since then what the was the 80s so over 20 years. But when I was in school the instructor insisted on showing a 3D short. I asked to be excused because it was gonna trigger my vertigo I was told no. She changed her tuned when I fell out of my seat from losing my balance while sitting. Then the instructor paid because as I got up to leave against her wishes I hurled right on her feet. She didn't think vertigo was real or could be triggered by a 3D movie. Now she knows, so do her Clarks shoes.
danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
*raises hand* I suffer too. I've seen a few shows at Disneyland, hurt my eyes, gave me a headache, and made me a little nauseous. 3-D? No thanks.
ella1978 ella1978 5 years
I'm a sufferer as well. They make me near physically ill. I got dizzy from looking at a 3-d magazine display WITH the glasses on. I'm not a fan of the movies, and I will NEVER buy the 3-d tv's...
tlsgirl tlsgirl 5 years
This happens to me when I watch IMAX 3D, but not regular 3D. I was really worried when I went to see Avatar, but it wasn't a big deal. I do have a tendency not to relax my eyes for the first 10 minutes or so, like I'm concentrating too hard, but that goes away.
imLissy imLissy 5 years
I've yet to see a full length movie in 3D. I really have no desire to. Too much money. I'll stick with 2D at home.
imLissy imLissy 5 years
I've yet to see a full length movie in 3D. I really have no desire to. Too much money. I'll stick with 2D at home.
Sasseefrass Sasseefrass 5 years
It happens to me. Some movies are worse than others. If there isn't a lot of full-screen motion I'm okay. I had the unfortunate experience of sitting in the second from the front row during Avatar. Bleh.
Sasseefrass Sasseefrass 5 years
It happens to me. Some movies are worse than others. If there isn't a lot of full-screen motion I'm okay.I had the unfortunate experience of sitting in the second from the front row during Avatar. Bleh.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 5 years
So I doNt get this in the polorized 3D theaters but if I try and watch 3D at home it's a headache and a nightmare. I can SEE my eyes switching from red to green to red to green. I don't know why the polorized 3D is so much easier for my eyes, even when my sisters gets a little motion sick from it. I don't though! :)
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