The American Optometric Association is committed to getting the word out about binocular vision dysfunction and the new 3D craze sweeping the country.

Binocular vision dysfunction…(eye coordination, focusing, & eye movement problems)…within the general population has reached …if not pandemic proportions…at least epidemic status. There are at least 3 million men, women, and children with amblyopia (lazy eye) … many undiagnosed and untreated. There are at least 18 million individuals with strabismus (eye turns)…many undiagnosed and untreated….and at least one study suggests that 56% of those between 18 and 38 yrs of age have symptoms related to binocular vision dysfunction.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that 3D movies, television and video games have the potential to unmask these undiagnosed and untreated problems. If you watch 3D and “don’t get it”…for instance you do not see the 3D…see your family optometrist for a possible referral to a COVD member or go to to find a doctor near you. If you watch 3D and get headaches, eyestrain, diplopia (seeing double), nausea or other symptoms…see your family optometrist.

The good news continues….there is a treatment for these disorders. This treatment is called optometric vision therapy.

The good news still continues…current research in adult neuro-plasticity studies show that even the adult brain can change…which means adults can benefit from optometric vision therapy. If you are not familiar with the story of Stereo-Sue (Susan Barry, PhD) and how she participate in a program of optometric vision therapy to treat an eye turn present since childhood….and how she now has attained 3D vision when practically everyone over the years told her it was impossible…well, read her book and visit her Psychology Today blog.

If your current doctor does not test for binocular vision problems and/or does not treat these disorders, you can find an Doctor of Optometry to help by going to the American Optometric Association and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development doctor locator websites today. If you live in the Chicago-land area, you can contact the Illinois Eye Institute.

As my good friend and colleague, Dr. Len Press says: “The 3Ds of the 3D viewing experience are: If you experience Discomfort or Dizziness, see your Doctor of Optometry. ” That is very good advice.

Need additional help? Have additional questions? No problem. Send me an email note ( and I’d be happy to assist you in any way I can.

Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A