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Updated April 21, 2010 to include original text from Samsung below article
According to Samsung’s 3DTV warning, “Photosensitive Seizure Warning and Other Health Risks,” 3DTV may pose a health risk to most people at some point in their lives.
“Pregnant women, the elderly, sufferers of serious medical conditions, those who are sleep deprived or under the influence of alcohol should avoid utilising the unit’s 3D functionality.”
So does that mean you can’t drink a beer while watching the game? Should women abstain from watching 3DTV if they’re newly pregnant? How about the 1 in 5 adults who are sleep deprived, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine?
The document also recommends:
“DO NOT place your TV television near open stairwells, cables, balconies, or other objects that can be tripped over, run into, knocked down, broken or fallen over.”
“Turn off all fluorescent lighting and block sources of direct sunlight before watching in 3D mode. Fluorescent lighting may cause a flickering effect and direct sunlight may affect the operation of the 3D glasses.”
And if you make it far enough to actually watch 3D programming.
“If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness…immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided.”
For the full document click here.
The bottom line is that there hasn't been enough research done to justify such broad statements. Use your common sense.
Samsung has changed the warning on their website since our article was written. The original warning was:
Children and teenagers may be more susceptible to health issues associated with viewing in 3D and should be closely supervised when viewing these images.
Photosensitive seizure warning and other health risks
Some viewers may experience an epileptic seizure or stroke when exposed to certain flashing images or lights contained in certain television pictures or video games. If you suffer from, or have a family history of epilepsy or strokes, please consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function.
Even those without a personal or family history of epilepsy or stroke may have an undiagnosed condition that can cause photosensitive epileptic seizures.
Pregnant women, the elderly, sufferers of serious medical conditions, those who are sleep deprived or under the influence of alcohol should avoid utilising the unit's 3D functionality.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop viewing 3D pictures immediately and consult a medical specialist:
- Altered vision
- Involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching
Children and teenagers may be more likely than adults to experience these symptoms. Parents should monitor their children and ask whether they are experiencing these symptoms.
Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided.
Watching TV while sitting too close to the screen for an extended period of time may damage your eyesight. The ideal viewing distance should be at least three times the screen height. It is recommended that the viewer's eyes are level with the screen.
Watching TV while wearing 3D glasses for an extended period of time may cause a headache or fatigue. If you experience a headache, fatigue or dizziness, stop viewing TV and rest.
Do not use the 3D glasses for any other purpose than for viewing 3D television. Wearing the 3D glasses for any other purpose (as general spectacles, sunglasses, protective goggles, etc.) may be physically harmful to you and may weaken your eyesight.
Viewing in 3D may cause disorientation for some viewers. Accordingly, DO NOT place your TV television near open stairwells, cables, balconies, or other objects that can be tripped over, run into, knocked down, broken or fallen over.
Guidelines for in-home viewing
To watch in 3D mode you need to put the 3D glasses on and press the power button on top of the glasses [this latter part may vary depending on the specific brand].
Turn off all fluorescent lighting and block sources of direct sunlight before watching in 3D mode. Fluorescent lighting may cause a flickering effect and direct sunlight may affect the operation of the 3D glasses.