Sunday, May 17, 2009

3D movies and Amblyopia

My son is a Pixar nut and is counting the days until UP comes out. We were real excited to see this in 3D but now I'm re-thinking it. We may have to split up at the theatres or take a separate trip with him to 3D because of Belle's amblyopia. She won't be able to see the 3D and if you go to a 3D movie and don't wear the glasses it is blurred. (I know because when we saw Meet the Robinsons in 3D one of he kids dropped their glasses and wore mine and so I was stuck with a blurry movie!)

From the article: Are 3-D movies bad for your eyes?

But will movies that seem to pop out of the screen hurt your eyes?

Some vision researchers say yes. They argue that repeatedly asking our eyes and brains to go against their normal function has short-term effects. And they worry about the long-term effect on small children whose vision systems are still in


People who lack depth perception shouldn't spend their money on 3-D movie surcharges. Perala said patients who don't use their eyes together because of disorders like strabismus and amblyopia can't be tricked into seeing artificial depth.

Some 3-D Movies coming out that you may want to consider seeing without the 3D.

  • "Up" (May 29)
  • Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (July 1)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (IMAX 3D -- July 15)
  • G-Force (July 24)
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Sept. 18)
  • Toy Story/Toy Story 2 (3-D re-release -- Oct. 2)
  • Disney's A Christmas Carol (Nov. 6)
  • Avatar (Dec. 18)


  1. We took my son to Monsters VS Aliens not realizing the time we picked was the 3D version but decided to try it anyway and figured we could just get our money back if it didn't work for him. We were surprised but he was able to see the 3D! The 3D glasses fit fine over his regular glasses but we were shocked that he could see the 3D. I'm excited for his next eye appointment to see if his eyes have improved gain. I was a little unsure though if it was okay for him to see a 3D one or if that would mess up his brain.

    1. hi when i was a kid and my parents took me to see a 3d film i though it was great but i have a squint and only now with the new 3d tv's i realised i didnt see real 3d when i was a kid ... funny now but back then i didnt understand i didnt see 3d because i watched the movie i thought i did see 3d

  2. Found this forum while Googling about 3D movies and amblyopia/strabismus (hard to keep the two straight, like my eye(s) - I have "alternating" whichever...). This is pretty inspirational, as I went to see Up in 3D with my mother, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked for me, too. I'm 41, and was diagnosed very late (late 30s). Last known 3D experience was when I was around 17, at a computer store demonstrating LCD shutter glasses on an Amiga. Played a round of 3D Asteroids, and I was moving my head trying to see behind the objects floating in front of the screen. Long story short, I'm wondering if the Disney 3D process does simultaneous projection, or just rapidly switches between left/right images, subliminally noticeable by the brain which might "give up" trying to jump from eye to eye and use both. At least it seems to offer some hope for at least some who otherwise have lost depth perception.

  3. I found similar information on (not my website)

    This may help people looking for information on the topic.

  4. I'm 31 and was born with amblyopia/strabismus and have found that I can see 3D only when the glasses come "pre-mixed" in that, when they are not one side blue and one side red forcing the brain to do the mixing. I love the advent of the already mixed glasses and hope it becomes more widespread.

  5. I'm 21 year old, and I went to see Avatar. I was afraid that I won't see anything because I have amblyopia on the left eye, but it was luckily not true.

    I was able to see the movie in 3D, and there was a big difference when I was taking my 3D glasses off. I also put my 3D glasses over my regular ones, even I don't think that it helped me much, I saw it good anyway..

    The only thing is maybe it didn't had so big effects like on the people who see normally, but the important thing is that I saw the picture clearly, and I could see the movie in 3D.

    My boyfriend, who came with me, was more amazed by the movie, he said that things were really comming to him.. I could see the depth of the image, but I didn't had that feeling. To me it had biggest effects when there were small things in front (as some insects, dust, grass in the forrest...)

  6. I am 31 year old with amblyopia/strabismus from birth and I went to see a 3D movie with my kid. He kept saying: wow, it's so real, it's like popping out of the screen. I did not see any of that. The glasses made me see the movie in clear view but I did not see anything popping out out out of the ordinary. It was like seeing a regular movie.
    I wish I know what the buzz is all about with 3D. I will always live with a regret! :-)

  7. I have lazy eye where my eye turns in plus I think it's much stronger than the eye I do use. I was told to wear a patch... but I don't do it. Instead I scare the customers :) but w/e. I ignore the other one (though again, it IS MUCH MUCH more clearer :/).
    Anyway I live in the country so only went to a 3-dee movie once, Avatar, but, surprisingly, certain panoramic scenes were totally 3D!! In fact I never saw the alternating lines when I had the glasses on! The key here is that the bridge of the glasses weren't obtuse and were instead a part of the lenses. Anyway I'd just say unless your daughter has actually tried to watch a 3d movie I'm not sure if you should say she can or not. Besides if she can't than you could probably just get a refund.

  8. I have lazy eye since I was very small, had surgery to correct eye alignment. I do not see 3D. If you have had lazy since early childhood you don't see 3D. Read "Fixing my Gaze" By Sue Barry. In there it says that people with lazy eye think they can see 3D, but we don't. It is possible to have glimpse of 3D now and then, but not for an entire movie. I saw Avatar in 3D and also thought I saw 3D, later when my husband said what he saw I realized I'm imagining 3D. It also only happens in CG (computer generated) images, not real images. The parts that really pop for him are the parts I think I see.