3-D movies can be ‘hook’ for eye care

January 16, 2012

The 3-D Practice Starter Kit and gallery prints are part of the collection of materials available to ODs through the AOA order department (www.aoa.org/onlinestore).

As many patients flock to see the latest 3-D movies this holiday season, optometrists should take advantage of the opportunity to discuss the effects of 3-D viewing with them.

A multitude of flicks such as “Arthur Christmas,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Hugo,” and “The Adventures of Tintin,” are driving the 3-D craze.

Optometrists can inquire whether patients have seen any of these 3-D movies and what their visual experience was like. They may have experienced some of the three Ds of 3-D – discomfort, dizziness and lack of depth perception.

Doctors can explain that 3-D viewing is a much more sensitive test of visual ability than the Snellen chart because it requires that both eyes function in a coordinated manner, as they converge, focus and track the 3-D image.

The AOA offers several tools for sharing with patients, community and staff.

In collaboration with educators, vision researchers and specialist advisors from across the 3-D industry, the AOA has released a comprehensive report for teachers, students and parents that describes and explains the optimal uses of 3-D in the classroom, including how 3-D approaches to learning serve as a fulcrum for enhanced teaching and improved assurance of school readiness.

The 34-page full-color public health report, “3-D in the Classroom: See Well, Learn Well,” is available for AOA members to download at no cost from www.aoa.org/3D.

In addition, the AOA has printed 10,000 copies for distribution to school district administrators, educators and ODs.

Research has shown that 3-D programming in the classroom can improve learning and retention. However, there is a widespread belief that viewing 3-D is harmful for children’s vision.

In fact, according to the AOA 2011 American Eye-Q® survey, 53 percent of respondents with children 18 or younger believe 3-D viewing is harmful to a child’s vision or eyes and 29 percent of parents feel very concerned that their child may damage their eyes due to prolonged use of computers or hand-held electronic devices.

Produced in collaboration with industry leaders DLP®, the booklet not only dispels that mistaken notion, but provides background on the history of 3-D entertainment, explains how the visual system perceives 3-D and offers advice on how to best view 3-D, from getting a comprehensive vision examination to proper seating and lighting conditions.

In an introduction to the report, AOA President Dori Carlson, O.D., notes that the recent emergence of innovative 3-D presentation technologies and 3-D content in movie theaters, in the home, in video games and now in the classroom, perhaps surprisingly, provides a unique public health opportunity.

The ability to perceive depth in a 3-D presentation turns out to be a highly sensitive test of a range of vision health indicators.

The report contains practical notes for teachers on the viewing of 3-D in the classroom and detailed information on how best to use their observations to advance both learning and vision and eye health.

References are included for further exploration of this fascinating and important topic.

The booklet is part of a collection of materials available to ODs through the AOA order department (www.aoa.org/onlinestore).

The $25 3-D Starter Kit includes (a $38 value):

  • 3D in the Classroom: See Well, Learn Well public health report
  • 3-D patient education brochure on 3D (package of 25)
  • “The Three D’s of 3-D Viewing” tear sheets (part of AOA’s Vision and Learning Series for patients)
  • Booklet-style copies of the relevant Optometric Clinical Practice Quick Reference Guidelines

To learn more, go to www.aoa.org/3D.

In this new section, you will find:

  • OD and Paraoptometric Education Materials
  • Quick Reference Guides (downloadable)
  • 3D in the Classroom: See Well, Learn Well public health report (downloadable)
  • Videos suitable for sharing with your patient
  • AOA Press Materials

For comments or questions, e-mail 3deyehealth@aoa.org or visit AOA’s site for public education on 3-D vision at www.3deyehealth.org.

One comment

  1. Would you say it is recommended to get a eye exam more often if you are a professional swimmer or diver…or just in the water more often?

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