Cheney Free Press -

By Dr Scott Borgholthaus

3-D movies and the effects on vision

Community Health


Lens and Iris were watching trailers for upcoming movies. When the food advertisements started, Iris asked Lens, ”Could you go get us some popcorn?” Lens replied, “Don’t have to; this is a 3-D movie, and the food’ll come floating by any moment.”

Have you experienced troubles watching the new 3-D movies at the theatre? Do they make you feel eye strain, double or blurred vision? It’s often due to problems using both eyes together in a coordinated manner.

For instance, a need for correction change, especially if one eye needs more change than the other, can hinder the brain’s ability to focus and point the eyes properly. More so, a large difference in refractive error, from one eye to the other, makes it next to impossible for the eyes to focus and point together, due to image size differences.

Imagine trying to walk when carrying different amounts of weight in each hand, or walking with a sprained ankle. It gets harder to walk with an even gait as the weight difference or pain increases. The brain finally decides it can use only one eye at a time and finds a way to suppress the other. This is done with eye turns, called Strabismus, or suppressed focusing called amblyopia, both commonly called “lazy eye.”

Cataracts have also been known to disrupt binocular vision. Imagine trying to look with both eyes when one is behind a dense screen mesh. Vision binocularity problems can also frustrate computer work and video games, leading to eye fatigue and headaches.

A full eye exam helps reveal the combination of eye disorders causing the visual symptoms. Then proper lenses, lens coatings, and sometimes even eye exercises, or surgery, help correct the underlying problem to make your life a lot more clear and comfortable. Oh, by the way, please pass the popcorn.

Dr. Scott Borgholthaus is owner of Vision Haus Optometry in Cheney. He is a member of the Optometric Physicians of Washington and has been in private practice for over 27 years.

Dr. Borgholthaus would love to answer and/or include any questions or comments in future columns. Please send questions or comments to

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