3-D Images Help to Identify Vision Problems
 
Plano Vision Center offers advice for those having trouble with seeing in 3-D
 
With Avatar reaching top ratings at the box office, many people are headed to movie theaters to see what the excitement over 3-D is all about. Unfortunately, many of them may be disappointed because they didn't know  they can't see 3-D. 
 
The 3-D version of Avatar has two images projected on the screen, each image seen by one eye. The images are then merged into one by your brain. If the images aren't perceived correctly, it will be very difficult to merge or fuse the images into 3-D. The technology behind the Avatar 3-D effects is based on the premise that the viewer has the ability to see 3-D. 
 
"There are a variety of vision problems which may cause intermittent problems, where you will see 3-D part of the time. This can definitely cause headaches or at the least make viewing very uncomfortable," explained Dr. Robert L. Johnson, Chairman and Co-Founder of Plano Child Development Center (Plano).  "The importance of seeing 3D extends beyond watching special effects on TV," Dr. Johnson says. "Any activity requiring depth perception or eye-hand coordination such as catching a football like my grandson, Arizona Cardinal WR Larry Fitzgerald, making that 3 pointer in a basketball game, driving, riding a bike or even pouring milk on cereal can be affected if you have problems seeing 3D." 
 
Research has shown that up to 56% of those 18 to 38 years of age have one or more problems with binocular vision and therefore could have difficulty seeing 3-D. In addition, about five percent of the population have amblyopia (lazy eye) and/or strabismus (eye turn) which makes 3-D viewing impossible.  
 
But there is hope. Thanks to optometric vision therapy, thousands of people who previously could not see 3-D are enjoying every special effect Avatar has to offer. Dr. Susan R. Barry,professor of neurobiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke College, who lived most of her life stereoblind until she went through an optometric vision therapy program at the age of 48, shares, "I am happy to say I am no longer stereoblind. I can enjoy the 3-D effects in Avatar as well or more than anyone else. The scenes of the forest receding way into the distance and the seeds from the Tree of Life floating in front of the screen were fantastic."  Optometric vision therapy has helped thousands of people across the world to be able to see 3-D; even those who have had multiple eye surgeries, such as Dr. Barry," Johnson states.  
 
"It is amazing to see patient improvements not only in seeing in 3D but academically and in behavior states Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown, a behavioral optometrist who has been providing optometric vision therapy at Plano for over 30 years. Founded in 1959, Plano, also referred to as Plano Vision Development Center is a multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit optometric service organization that specializes in the identification, evaluation and treatment of individuals with learning related vision skills problems. 
 
Behavioral optometrists are eye care practitioners who specialize in vision development, the prevention of vision problems, enhancement of visual skills, the rehabilitation of various functional vision problems and provide optometric vision therapy for children and adults. Optometric vision therapy is a program of prescribed procedures to change and improve visual performance, which in turn helps our eyes and brain work together more effectively for reading and other learning tasks as well as seeing 3-D. 
 
To find out more about 3-D vision and optometric vision therapy, visit the website for Plano Child Development Center,  www.planovision.org and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development,  www.covd.org. 
 
For more information on the Plano Center and Behavioral Optometrists, please contact:
 
Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown, Executive Director
 
Plano Child Development Center
 
5401 South Wentworth Avenue, Suite 14-A
Chicago, IL 60609
P 773-924-5297
F 773-373-3548