Home > Case Studies > Watching 3D Films Gives Me a Headache: A Case Study

Watching 3D Films Gives Me a Headache: A Case Study

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 25 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
3d Showings Cinema Avatar Headache

“I love films but specially anything to do with science fiction, robotics, and all films with special effects so I was really excited about going to see 3D showings when they first started coming out a couple of years ago in mainstream cinema,” says Jake. It was only when he went to see the block buster Avatar that Jake noticed that going to the film showings was giving him a really bad headache.

“I went to Avatar four times in one weekend, which was a bit excessive. I invested in a monthly pass to the local cinema complex, so the more films I see, the better value it is and I can go and see anything I want, when I want and as many times as I want. In this case, it turned out not to be such a good idea,” he says.

The 3D Film Experience

Going to see a 3D film works only if you have good stereoscopic vision – which means you have to see well, and equally well in both eyes. People with a very lazy eye, where one eye is very poor, can’t see the images in 3D as both eyes need to take in the slightly separated images. “As it turns out, there are people like me who thought they had great eyesight but watching 3D films causes a real problem. When I went to see an optician about the problem, he told me that I had a very slight imbalance in the ciliary muscles between my left and right eye. This made everyday seeing and focusing fine, but when my eyes tried to make the corrections necessary to take in the 3D moving images, I just got muscle strain, hence the headaches,” explains Jake.

Is this Why 3D Films Have Never Made it Big?

3D film technology has been around for years but it has never become a big hit. Avatar and other films recently released have started the trend again, but in previous decades when the idea has been tried too many people going to see the films suffered headaches and, worse, felt really sick during the film. “That happens to me sometimes too; the headaches I get make me feel quite nauseated. I have never actually thrown up, but it wouldn’t be a good thing to do in the cinema would it?” laughs Jake.

It is true that originally, the 3D image effect was created by having two different projectors, one that produced an image intended for each eye. Often, cinemas didn’t line up the projectors properly, creating headaches and sickness even in people with perfect vision. Today, 3D films are sent out by the same projector but you have to wear special 3D glasses to be able to see a slightly different image with each eye.

What About 3D Televisions?

The success of Avatar has stimulated large companies like Sony to try to develop large screen 3D TVs that can prevent some of these problems and they certainly hope that 3D TV will become very interesting to home consumers who have seen 3D films and like them. Others are less convinced, including Jake. “I don’t it would be worth it to invest in a 3D TV and then find that you didn’t like it – I can’t imagine getting one for my home. I have now got some special cinema glasses of my own – the optician has given me a pair with lenses to correct my problem so that I can see 3D films without a problem. Let’s hope Avatar II comes out soon,” he says enthusiastically.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Julieregan
    Re: Headaches and Migraines in Women
    I have an overactive thyroid gland and have had it since I was 40. I am using carbimazole tablets once daily. I struggle with…
    25 July 2017
  • holycow
    Re: Sinus Headaches
    my daughter has been diagnosed as suffering from a virus in the brain, how can she get rid of this pounding headache that never stops
    24 July 2017
  • JTV56
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    @Stells - I would - it doesn't harm and it's always best to be on the safe side. Jean.
    20 July 2017
  • Stells
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    I fell backwards 2 weeks ago and hit my head on the pavement, initially it dud hurt and I had a headache the next day. I was on…
    19 July 2017
  • bree
    Re: Thyroid Disease and Headaches
    2011 March 27th migraine started after herniated disc c5/c6 had a formanectomy in 2012 after a conservation period under…
    12 July 2017
  • Tomba
    Re: Scalp Pain: What Causes It?
    My problem started about 15 days ago. The pain first started at the right side of the head including the right cheek, right ear and…
    6 July 2017
  • PrinDi
    Re: Scalp Pain: What Causes It?
    @Stinging Headpain - Poor you, it sounds genuinely awful. I hope you get better soon and manage to resolve all these awful…
    4 July 2017
  • Stinging Headpain
    Re: Scalp Pain: What Causes It?
    Oops...My pain is on top of left side of my head. It feels like my head is on fire sometimes..I have also tried a chiropractor.…
    3 July 2017
  • Stinging Headpain
    Re: Scalp Pain: What Causes It?
    I have been in pain off and on for 11 years...The first bout of pain lasted for 6 months..It will stop for a few months and start…
    3 July 2017
  • HeadacheExpert
    Re: Herbal Remedies for Headache and Migraine Relief
    Ummnoor - Your Question:If you have had an MRI (CTS?) scan and nothing unusual has been found then the…
    3 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the HeadacheExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.