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3D TV, vertigo and dizziness.

14 February 2011 2 Comments

We may be ditching CRT TV's as fast as we can, but take a moment before rushing into a 3D TV. Picture: SILVERE TEUTSCH / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Have you bought a 3D TV only to experience vertigo or dizziness on watching it? You aren’t alone. Dizzness and vertigo after watching 3D Television is a recognised problem amongst TV manufacturers and health professionals who treat vertigo like myself. How do you know if you are likely to experience problems with 3D TV and what can you do about it?

It all arises from a problem called visual mismatch. As I have mentioned in previous posts, your balance relies on input from your eyes (vision), ears and your body (proprioception). As long as you are receiving information from at least two of these three you feel balanced. However there are many people who have overt or hidden dysfunction with the ears or proprioception that leaves one of the three missing. This makes them constantly dependent on the visual system and the other remaining system.

Most people can cope okay with two systems, but when they are forced to rely on one system they experience problems. This is what happens with 3D TV. Producing the 3D picture requires a distortion of the way your brain normally puts together an image. People with normal balance systems can cope with this, but if you are depending on the visual system to keep you balanced, you will be much more likely to suffer problems.

So how can you tell if you are likely to suffer from vertigo or dizziness on watching 3D TV? You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have an existing balance problem?
  2. Have you suffered from vertigo or dizziness in the past?
  3. Do you experience dizziness or disorientation with fast moving scenes on normal TV or at the cinema?
  4. Do you experience dizziness or disorientation in situations with lots of movement around you like shopping malls/centres or supermarkets?
  5. Do you experience dizziness or disorientation with heights or in situations where the point you are focusing on is far away?

I would suggest that the more of these you answered yes to, the more likely you are to suffer from vertigo and dizziness with 3D TV. It doesn’t absolutely mean you will, but it might be worth trying it out a friend’s place first before going to the store and handing over your cash.

If you have already bought a 3D TV and you are now suffering vertigo or dizziness.  You may need to stop using it until you have resolved and underlying balance issues.  Vestibular rehabilitation exercises will most likely be needed but be sure to seek and assessment with a vestibular rehabilitation practitioner.

So let me know, have you had any issues with 3D TV, vertigo and dizziness.  How did you overcome it?  Leave a comment below.


  • Marie Easterling said:

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  • Heather said:

    Loved this! I started having vertigo issues around Christmas and it wasn’t diagnosed until March, but I noticed that it’s not as bad when I’m watching my 3D TV but it is bad on my LED, LCD TV especially if I’m trying to play video games, or even fast forwarding my dvr. I never thought any of it could be linked to my tv. Thanks

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