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3-D Movies: Thrills and Ills
Date:7/6/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- "Avatar," "Hugo" and other 3-D movies thrill many viewers, but also make some feel sick, a new study finds.

Young adults and those sitting close to the screen are more likely than older viewers to experience blurred vision, nausea and other symptoms while "immersed" in a 3-D [three-dimensional] film, the researchers found.

"3-D movies are only good as long as you're not feeling terrible," said study lead author Shun-Nan Yang, a senior scientist at Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore.

Symptoms, which are brief and temporary, are related to visual disturbances and motion sickness. But they can be minimized -- at least if you're watching a 3-D movie at home -- by sitting farther back and gaining a wider viewing angle, Yang said.

Also, an eye doctor may help you resolve any vision issues, Yang added.

Hollywood produced many 3-D movies, which enhance the sense of depth perception, in the 1950s, and even then they could make people queasy. As technology has advanced over the last decade or so, 3-D films have boomed in popularity, but the motion-picture industry has yet to quash the motion-sickness factor.

The new study, funded by the technology company Intel, is the latest to look at how 3-D affects people.

The researchers recruited 203 teens and adults to watch the 2009 family film "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" on a 55-inch LCD television. Some watched it in regular 2-D; others viewed it in 3-D. Viewers were seated at different distances and viewing angles, and questioned about previous viewing symptoms, and any symptoms during or after seeing the film.

Twelve percent of the 2-D viewers reported an increase in symptoms of discomfort, compared with 20 percent of the 3-D viewers. Those who watched the 3-D version were likely to report more eye pain, pulling sensation in the
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