You may recall the blog series a couple of weeks ago in which we cited the work of Dr. James Sheedy and his colleagues at the Vision Performance Institute (VPI) at the Pacific University College of Optometry. If you’re dying to learn more about it you’re in luck, because this month’s issue of Optometry and Vision Science, the journal of the American Academy of Optometry, has an article from the VPI group entitled Stereoscopic Viewing and Reported Perceived Immersion and Symptoms. The conclusion of the article notes that there’s a bit of a double whammy in stereoscopic 3D (S3D) viewing: young viewers (young defined as ages 13 – 34) tend to experience higher immersion, or a sense of being within the scene, but also greater visual and motion sickness when in S3D viewing. Symptoms can be reduced by maintaining a father viewing distance and a wider viewing angle. Here is one slide from the article that shows the relationship between age and severity of blurred vision. If the blur is caused primarily by a mismatch between accommodation and vergence planes, it isn’t surprising that younger patients, with more labile accommodation, would experience the type of flux that exacerbates blur in the S3D viewing condition.
Here is the official press release regarding the article. As we’ve noted before, counseling is wonderful on how to minimize symptoms with S3D viewing such as movies or TV. Even more powerful is the opportunity to provide the patient with options for changing their visual function, whether through modifying their lens prescription and the balance between the two eyes, providing a prism prescription when indicated, or prescribing optometric vision therapy to modify the visual functions responsible for S3D symptoms. In some instances collaboration with an ENT may be indicated.