Experts Warn Against Watching Stereoscopic 3D For More Than 2 Hours

Eye specialist and MD of Butterflies Healthcare, James Sutton, is warning against watching stereoscopic 3D content for more than 2 hours at a time.

The UK optometrist explained that "a lot of people do say when they come out of the cinema that they are aware they've done something different with their eyes, even if it's not to the extent of a headache or sickness, but they're aware that it was hard work to watch."

"I'd have said that was more than enough," Sutton added. "I would worry about people spending hours doing it, I must say."

Sutton's concerns are pretty much relative to hardcore gamers whose gaming sessions are well beyond the 1 hour and 30 minutes time length of a typical movie.

"When you create 3D, the two images have to be separated slightly, so your eyes are having to look at things slightly removed from each other; that's what gives you the 3D depth. That's an artificial situation, because you're trying to look at something coming out at you that isn't really coming out at you," Sutton explained.

"It's quite a lot of work for you to do that for a sustained period… There's a proportion of people that find that, for the prolonged period of time that they're having to do it, it will cause eye-strain, as they're working too hard to create what is, in effect, a visual illusion."

In related news, Sony recently updated their Terms of Service to advise users to take "regular breaks while watching 3D video or playing stereoscopic 3D games," and to ensure that those breaks are "long enough to allow any feelings of discomfort to subside."

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Probably false alarm

I cannot help but believe this is not unlike the concern for regular 2D television when it came. Or video games. Or cars. Rock music... It is a thing to get used to, no more, no less.

me to

ive been gaming for hours each day with a desktop pc using nvidias 3d nvision, and my vidio is perfectly fine, suuuure i look like don vito now, but who cares, right?

Well, Maybe...

I game on my Nvidia 3d vision setup daily. After just a little while, I could game for hours without eye strain. I think my eye muscles got stronger. Doesn't bother me anymore, and am able to turn the depth up quite high. I saw Toy Story 3 in 3D and I must say the 3d was rather low compared to what I use at home. So, I think after 3d is standard and people use it at home regularly it won't be a big deal.

Think long term...

"So, I think after 3d is standard and people use it at home regularly it won't be a big deal."

Either that or you'll be needing a rather strong pair of glasses in a couple of years.


There still is a possibility of eye damage from over exposure. I think that's what they're concerned about. Besides it isn't exactly 3D as they described, its really an optical illusion.

Its all an illusion

"it isn't exactly 3D as they described, its really an optical illusion."

If you think like that you could call any game an optical illusion, 3D or not.

I agree with the possible eye damage, people shouldn't say they tried it and its fine, its all about how long they've been using it. Try it for 2 or 3 years and then tell others if it's fine or not.

Sony either didn't test the technology over such a period of time or they simply won't say it cause the results aren't good. Hence slap a label with an overuse warning so it won't be their fault if something bad happens.


wow you must be dumb evrey 1 knows 2d isint an optic illusion since the screen ur watching is actually there moron, think again.

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