The World of 3D can Increase Visual Discomfort

In the 3D imagery context, it is not enough to have 20/20 visual acuity. Eye muscles must be coordinated well enough to experience clear and comfortable vision, resulting in single images, by maintaining alignment of both eyes. The brain must also match appropriate accommodative or focusing power with the eyes’ focal point.   Several reports indicate that prolonged viewing of mobile devices and other stereo 3D devices leads to visual discomfort, fatigue and even headaches.  According to a new Journal of Vision study, the root cause may be the demand on our eyes to focus on the screen and simultaneously adjust to the distance of the content.

Subtle problems with these vision skills can lead to rapid fatigue of the eyes and loss of 3D viewing.  These problems can also lead to difficulty with tracking, reading or copying text, as well as reduced reading comprehension, resulting in poor grades and increased frustration at school. Difficulties appreciating 3D imagery in movies, TV and video games, or discomfort when engaging in these activities, may be an important sign of undetected vision disorders. Parents should be aware that the current vision screening technologies employed in schools and pediatricians’ offices cannot substitute for comprehensive eye exams, such as those administered by optometrists.  These exams specifically detect and treat these problems.

UV Protection

According to the World Health Organization, up to 80 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays occurs before the age of 18. In fact, children are more susceptible to UV damage than adults because they tend to spend more time outside.  In addition, according to the American Optometric Association, children are at a greater risk of UV damage because the lenses of their eyes are more transparent, which allows more short wavelength light to reach the retina.

UV damage to the eyes is cumulative, meaning it builds over time.  It has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and a variety of other ocular problems.  Therefore, it is important that when going outside, both adults and children should always wear a wide-brimmed hat or cap or the proper UV-rated sunglasses.

Contact Lens Related Injuries

A new report published in Pediatrics, the journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics, estimates that in a two year period, emergency rooms across the country treated more than 33,000 injuries due to contact lenses.  The study, “Emergency Department Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events among Children,” showed that the most frequently injured body part due to medical device complications is the eye.  According to the data, the most-frequently reported injury diagnoses due to contact lenses were corneal abrasions, conjunctivitis and subconjunctival hemorrhaging.  The study also showed that most contact lens complications included noncompliance with recommended wear and care regimens, as well as failure to adhere to recommended replacement schedules.  To avoid contact lens related injuries always wash your hands before handling your contacts, comply with wearing schedules, follow a proper disinfection routine, and see your optometrist for regular follow up examinations.

If you have any questions about your eye or vision health, please contact our offices in Stillwater at 405-372-1715 or Pawnee at 918-762-2573.  We also invite you to visit our website at and like us on Facebook at Cockrell Eye Care Center!

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