Monday, November 5, 2012

A survey of visually induced symptoms and associated factors in spectators of three dimensional stereoscopic movies

A survey of visually induced symptoms and associated factors in spectators of three dimensional stereoscopic movies. BMC Public Health 2012, 12:779 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-779
Angelo G. Solimini (, Alice Mannocci (, Domitilla Di Thiene (, Giuseppe La Torre (


The increasing popularity of commercial movies showing three dimensional (3D) computer generated images has raised concern about image safety and possible side effects on population health. This study aims to (1) quantify the occurrence of visually induced symptoms suffered by the spectators during and after viewing a commercial 3D movie and (2) to assess individual and environmental factors associated to those symptoms.


A cross-sectional survey was carried out using a paper based, self administered questionnaire. The questionnaire includes individual and movie characteristics and selected visually induced symptoms (tired eyes, double vision, headache, dizziness, nausea and palpitations). Symptoms were queried at 3 different times: during, right after and after 2 hours from the movie.


We collected 953 questionnaires. In our sample, 539 (60.4%) individuals reported 1 or more
symptoms during the movie, 392 (43.2%) right after and 139 (15.3%) at 2 hours from the
movie. The most frequently reported symptoms were tired eyes (during the movie by 34.8%,
right after by 24.0%, after 2 hours by 5.7% of individuals) and headache (during the movie
by 13.7%, right after by 16.8%, after 2 hours by 8.3% of individuals). Individual history for

frequent headache was associated with tired eyes (OR = 1.34, 95%CI = 1.01-1.79), double
vision (OR = 1.96; 95%CI = 1.13-3.41), headache (OR = 2.09; 95%CI = 1.41-3.10) during the
movie and of headache after the movie (OR = 1.64; 95%CI = 1.16-2.32). Individual
susceptibility to car sickness, dizziness, anxiety level, movie show time, animation 3D movie
were also associated to several other symptoms.


The high occurrence of visually induced symptoms resulting from this survey suggests the
need of raising public awareness on possible discomfort that susceptible individuals may
suffer during and after the vision of 3D movies

Comments: This is a fairly good, open access study that demonstrates how viewing simulated 3D can be linked with several visual symptoms. Tired eyes, double vision, headache, vision induced motions sickness, and dizziness...all of which collectively are a part of 3D Vision Syndrome.....can significantly detract from an individuals 3D viewing.

This study lacks at least one very important component, that being an assessment of the binocular vision characteristics of the audience. Most of the current research on simulated 3D notes that accommodation and vergence play a major role in how a viewer reacts to 3D and the symptoms produced. It is thought that those individuals without preexisting functional vision problems do not appear to have the symptoms often noted with 3D Vision Syndrome.

In the best of all worlds, a multi-site clinical trial would likely determine just what is and is not associated with 3D Vision Syndrome. This would also allow those who produce simulated 3D content, 3D audiences and the doctors and therapists who treat 3D Vision Syndrome to produce a better product for the consumer as well as improved methods of diagnosing and treating this disorder.

For more info on 3D Vision Syndrome go to

3D EyeHealth

3D Vision Syndrome

You Can Help Your Patients See 3-D

Asthenopia: A Technology Induced Visual Impairment

What is 3D Vision Syndrome?

What to Do if You Feel Sick Watching 3D Movies

3D Vision Syndrome

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