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Can 3-D movies, television make you sick?


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With the success of "Avatar," a cluster of 3-D movies, including "Alice in Wonderland" and "How to Train Your Dragon", are making their mark in Hollywood. Martin Scorsese recently announced plans to direct a 3-D film later this year. Nintendo also announced plans for a 3-D gaming console, the 3DS. Many electronics companies have 3-D television models, bringing the opportunity for this enhanced viewing into the home as networks begin to air more 3-D programming. Comcast's 3-D channel aired the Masters Golf Tournament earlier this month, and ESPN plans to launch a 3-D sports network this year.


But doctors say that for eyes unaccustomed to watching 3-D for hours every day, there are some dangers, including mild symptoms such as disorientation and, in rare cases, seizures.


The Samsung 3D LED TV comes with a substantial health warning. It cautions that certain flashing images or lights could induce epileptic seizure or stroke, and that "motion sickness, perceptual aftereffects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability" may result.


Doctors say the percentage of people who should worry about significant adverse effects is small, especially the possibility of seizure. More commonly, people may experience dizziness or other discomfort after watching something in 3-D, including a feature film.


Symptoms of nausea, headache and fatigue may result because 3-D causes the eyes to move in an unnatural way, said an e-mail from Dr. Lisa Park, clinical assistant professor in the department of ophthalmology at New York University Langone Medical Center.


Here's how it works: The 3-D movie presents two slightly different perspectives of the same scene, superimposed but separated by a specific degree.


Three-D glasses have a polarized filter that separates those two images, allowing each to be seen by a different eye. This happens so fast that you don't see the transitions, said Steven Nusinowitz, associate professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.


In the brain, the two images are fused, creating the illusion of depth, he said.


When you see something come toward you in the real world, your eyes slightly cross toward each other. At the same time, the lenses change shape in order to keep the object in focus as it moves in your direction, a process called accommodation. But when you see images on a screen, your eyes try to align the two images, but not "accommodate," because the object is not actually moving toward you.


"The movie is telling you 'Hey, I'm moving around in this scene,' but your vestibular system is telling you, 'I'm not moving anywhere,' and that disconnect will make you feel sick, for some people," Nusinowitz said.


More @ http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/23/3d.vi...x.html?hpt=Sbin

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