I don’t remember the exact name of the first full length 3D movie I watched, but I remember having a headache afterwards. I didn’t attribute it to the 3D and I didn’t think it unusual that for part of the movie, things didn’t seem as 3D as I thought they would. I always figured it had something to do with having an astigmatism. According to my doctor, that meant my eyes took a second longer to focus on an object than someone with normal eyes. Therefore, I figured my eyes were just slow on picking up the 3D images.

I remember going to see “Beowulf”, a movie in 3D that was longer some of the others I had seen. I got a really bad headache during that movie and actually had to excuse myself because I felt sick. When I returned from the bathroom, I had to remove my glasses and watch without them, because leaving them on was making my head hurt worse and making me more nauseous. Again, I figured other things were at cause for giving me a possible migraine and then the 3D was just forcing my eyes to work harder so it made it worse. I never really thought the movie could be the cause of it.

Over the years, I heard a few others mention 3D movies gave them headaches, too, and I have started to avoid them if possible because of it. I was probably one of the very few who did NOT go see Avatar. I definitely didn’t want to see it in 3D because of the length. I just KNEW I would be sick.

Last night, the Television was on in the bedroom but I was playing on my phone and not paying much attention. The show was “America Now”, which I honestly had never watched before. I quickly listened in when I heard them talking about how some people who watch 3D movies get headaches and nausea from it and there is Vision Therapy to help with it. They showed an example of a young boy who wasn’t able to enjoy them and the mom had said he would constantly lift the 3D glasses up and down trying to figure out what looked best. I could relate to that because I had done that myself trying to figure out why things didn’t always look right. Before the glasses go on, you see the two separate images and with them, you SHOULD just see ONE. Well, with me, it sometimes feels as if the images are going back and forth gradually. I’ll see the one image and then I start to peripherally see a second on the edges right before it goes back to being one.

Apparently, this is actually more common than I thought and it’s due to lack of depth perception. There is Vision Therapy available now to train your eye to be better with depth perception and in effect, be able to watch 3D movies without side effects. What a relief to know there’s a solution and it’s not something I just have to deal with for the rest of my life! Looks like I will be asking my eye doctor at my annual checkup about helping my depth perception skills!

*If you are interested in knowing how good YOUR Depth Perception is, even if you suffer no ill effects from 3D movies, here’s a online test you can do to find out! Depth Perception Test * <—This is just an online test and is not AS conclusive as seeing an optometrist, so if you fail this, as I did, and have concerns, please consult your eye doctor!


  1. I have an astigmatism too and never thought that it might be the problem. I have also had problems watching movies in 3D. I always thought it was just because wearing the 3D glasses over my own glasses was uncomfortable. Now I’m going to have to ask my eye doc about that too. Thanks Sharon! 🙂


    1. I always thought they needed another option anyways for people with glasses….it’s got to be very awkward wearing 3D glasses over them! I wear contacts 99% of the time because I hate wearing glasses LOL so I don’t have that problem, but as a former glasses wearer, I can understand!
      You’re welcome! Hope it helps!


  2. I don’t enjoy 3D movies for the same reason… I remember going to see Avatar in 3D and I just took my 3D glasses off and tossed them aside. I hear you. 🙂


    1. Yea, that is probably what I would have ended up doing, as well. I watched in on DVD in my living room and I loved the movie. The colors and imagery were beautiful and I can imagine that the 3D was awesome but it was good enough without the glasses and not worth the headache it would have caused after 3 hours.


    1. I believe that! They are outrageously expensive and I have yet to understand why you can’t just use your glasses from before and pay normal price…they add an extra price for the dumb glasses you have to buy every time….so crazy!


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