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Is 3D TV Bad for Your Health?

written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/25/2010

There are apparently 3D TV health risks that affect a lot of people including the elderly, children and pregnant women. Not all people are prone to these risks, but it's always good to know more about possible side effects of household appliances.

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    3D Movies

    FreeDigitalPhotos.net / by Filomena Scalise Watching 3D movies in movie theaters seems safe enough for your eyes and your overall health, but what will regular 3D viewing in your home do to your body? There are some concerns about 3D TV health risks and some of them were even brought up by 3D TV manufacturers themselves. In this article, we'll take a look at those health risk claims and discuss if we should be wary of watching 3D content on 3D TVs.

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    Possible Effects of 3D TV

    Regularly viewing 3D content using the included 3D glasses in 3D TVs may cause several side effects, some of which can be very serious. These side effects include but are not confined to nausea, convulsions, confusion, dizziness, altered vision, lightheadedness, cramps, muscle twitching, motion sickness, loss of awareness, perceptual after effects and involuntary movements in the eye or other facial muscles problems. People who have epilepsy are especially prone to fits because of the enhanced imagery they will see through the 3D glasses. People with epilepsy are already vulnerable to fits when viewing content on normal TVs, so viewing 3D content on a 3D TV will enhance that effect to a certain extent.

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    Who are Vulnerable to the Negative Effects of 3D TV

    All people may be at risk of suffering from negative effects of watching 3D but there are some specific types of people who are more vulnerable than others. These people include children, the elderly, pregnant women and people who have epilepsy. Watching 3D content is a new way of viewing TV so it may cause some shock to people's eyes and brains, which can affect facial muscles and functions of the eyes. These people are not 100% vulnerable, but it would not hurt to have a few precautions when they are viewing 3D TV content.

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    Recommendations to Avoid Health Risks in Watching 3D TV

    If you are in a bad physical condition, it is recommended that you do not watch 3D content until you are in a better physical condition. If you are under the influence of alcohol or if you are lacking sleep, it is also a bad idea to watch 3D TV content. It is recommended that you watch 3D TV not too close to the TV because this may damage your eyesight. Make sure that your eyes are at the level of the screen and you are situated at a distance that is at least equal to 3 times the height of the 3D TV. Make sure that you only wear the 3D glasses when watching 3D content. Do not wear them for an extended period of time especially if you are not watching 3D content. If you feel any kind of dizziness or uncomfortable feeling, stop watching 3D content and take off the 3D glasses. You can resume watching if the symptoms have subsided.

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    Testing

    Manufacturers of 3D TVs have not conducted extensive tests on 3D TV health risks so none of the alleged negative effects have been proven. Nevertheless, there's no harm in being extra careful especially with equipment that your friends and family members will be using.