Could going to the movies be an indicator to get your next eye exam?

Could going to the movies be an indicator to get your next eye exam?


In today’s world, 3D technology has become more popular and common in gaming systems, television, and especially movies. Most people are able to enjoy this thrilling experience through its realistic and close-up features. Nonetheless, there are some who find viewing 3D films gives them discomfort or makes them nauseated. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), viewers who feel the 3 D’s of 3D viewing (Dizziness, Discomfort, or lack of perceived Depth perception) should get a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrists.

Studies indicate that the problem may arise from eye conditions known as amblyopia (a difference in visual strength between the two eyes) or strabismus (the misalignment of the eyes). However, one of the biggest problems with 3D is the inability to accommodate. When we look at something close, our eyes have a “near reflex”—accommodation, convergence, and miosis (pupils get smaller). Convergence occurs when an object is pointed towards your nose. The muscles that control your eyeballs work in sync by rotating them inwards. You can try this by placing your finger 6 inches away from your friends face—you’ll notice that your friend will now look cross-eyed. Accommodation occurs when you are focusing on near objects. These functions are all completely normal in the real world. In a 3D movie however, when we see objects coming towards us, we converge but don’t accommodate—thus only two of the three “near reflexes” are working normally. This inability to perform all three “near reflexes” may cause eye discomfort or headaches.

If these problems continue to persist, one of the solutions may be to get your eyes checked by an eye doctor. Not only can a strabismus or the inability to accommodate  prevent you from watching 3D movies, it can also cause difficulties in other aspects of your life.

Blog contribution by Jeffrey Dang, Optometry Intern, College of Optometry ,Western University of Health Sciences

What are computer glasses?

Do Computer Glasses Help Reduce Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a condition where individuals who uses computers for a long period of time or in an unfavorable environment generate symptoms that affect their vision. The distance the eyes focuses when using a computer is different compared to when a person reads or looks at a far distance. When the eyes have to focus for a long time at the computer working distance, CVS symptoms may develop because the visual demands are greater than what the eyes can handle. Symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, and blurred vision. Some conditions that can contribute to CVS are glare, lighting in the environment, sitting posture, and time spent on the computer. Visual conditions like near-sighted, far-sighted, or astigmatism can also contribute to the development of CVS.

One way to help reduce symptoms of CVS are computer glasses. Computer glasses are designed specifically to alleviate the symptoms of CVS by using different lens power, tints, or coatings. Some frames have smaller amounts of optical power to decrease the demand of accommodation (focusing), thus decreasing the amount of work the eyes must endure. Some designs like the ‘wrap-around’ are made to decrease the amount of air current traveling between the frames and the eyes. The goal of these prescriptions is to achieve maximum visual function and comfort while relieving CVS symptoms. According to a study done by Ohio State University College of Optometry, computer glasses showed an 80.7% decrease in symptoms for patients that were presbyopic.

Because computer glasses can help alleviate symptoms does everyone benefit? It depends on an individuals’ visual demands, occupation, eye health and overall comfort that results from using computer glasses.

Blog contribution by Vally Moua, Optometry Intern, College of Optometry ,Western University of Health Sciences