Eye Doctors Offer Advice for Viewers on Super Bowl 3D Ads

Saturday, January 24, 2009 General News
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AURORA, Ohio, Jan. 23 Two Super Bowl commercials willprovide a unique opportunity to screen for amblyopia and other vision problemswhich make 3D vision impossible. If you can't see the 3D effects, you may havea vision problem, advises the College of Optometrists in Vision Development(COVD).

Thanks to DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., PepsiCo's SoBe Lifewater, IntelCorporation and NBC, a first-of-its kind, nationwide 'Monstrous' 3D event forSuper Bowl XLIII will be among the most highly-anticipated Super Bowlcommercials. But many viewers may be disappointed when they don't see thedazzling 3D effects.

"Research has shown that up to 56% of those 18 to 38 years of age have oneor more problems with binocular vision and therefore could have difficultyseeing 3D," shares COVD President, Dr. Carol Scott, optometrist fromSpringfield, MO, "and about five to seven percent of children have amblyopia(lazy eye) and cannot see 3D at all."

In order for someone to experience 3D effects their eyes need to worktogether properly. If the commercial does not look 3D through the specialglasses or if the commercial appears 3D but the viewer experiences eyestrainor headaches, a vision problem might be present.

"The importance of seeing 3D extends beyond watching special effects onTV," Dr. Scott says. "Any activity requiring depth perception or eye-handcoordination such as catching a football like superstar wide receiver LarryFitzgerald, making that 3 pointer in a basketball game, driving, riding a bikeor even pouring milk on cereal can be affected if you have problems seeing3D."

There are a variety of vision problems that can cause difficulty with 3Dvision. If you have amblyopia ("lazy eye") or strabismus ("crossed eye") it isalmost impossible to see 3D. Children with convergence insufficiency, acondition that inhibits one's ability to keep both eyes aimed correctly on aclose target, may also have trouble.

While many people have given up on ever seeing 3D, neuroscientistscontinue to demonstrate the brain's plasticity confirming that one can attainstereo vision even as adults. In fact, thanks to optometric vision therapy,adults and children who won't be able to see the special 3D effects in this'Monstrous' commercial may be able to obtain that vision skill.

Sue Barry, PhD, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at MountHolyoke College, is perhaps the most famous patient who was able to gainstereo vision as an adult. Dr. Barry was featured in an article in The NewYorker by neurologist, Oliver Sacks, MD in June, 2006. As a result of a an eyeturn (strabismus) and a lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, Dr. Barry loststereo vision as a child when her brain "turned off" the image it receivedfrom the lazy eye. Despite multiple surgeries to correct the eye turn, shenever achieved stereo vision. Stereo Sue, a title she gained from The NewYorker article, was a patient of Dr. Theresa Ruggiero, a Fellow of COVD. Dr.Barry was able to gain stereo vision after a year of vision therapy as anadult. Dr. Barry said that gaining stereo vision made her feel more a part ofthe world, "an incredible sense of being immersed in the space around you, asopposed to looking in on it from a slight distance away."

For more information on stereo vision, learning-related vision problemsand vision therapy please see http://www.covd.org.

About COVD and our member doctors

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is aninternational, non-profit optometric membership organization that provideseducation, evaluation and board certification programs in functional,behavioral and developmental vision care, optometric vision therapy and visionrehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, visiontherapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy, COVD and our open access journal,Optometry & Vision Development, please visit http://www.covd.org.

Developmental optometrists are eye care practitioners who specialize invisual development, the prevention of vision problems, enhancement of visualskills, the rehabilitation of various functional vision problems and provideoptometric vision therapy for children and adults. Optometric vision therapyis a program of prescribed procedures to change and improve visualperformance, which in turn helps our eyes and brain work together moreeffectively for reading and other learning tasks as well as seeing 3D.For more information, please contact: Ms. Pamela Happ, CAE, Executive Director College of Optometrists in Vision Development 215 West Garfield Road, Suite 210 Aurora, OH 44202 P 330-995-0718 | 888-268-3770 F 330-995-0719 Email phapp@covd.org

SOURCE College of Optometrists in Vision Development

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