In The News

CVC Educates New Yorkers about 3D, Eye and Vision Health at New York State Fas More Classrooms Go High-Tech

Posted on: Monday, August 22, 2011


Classrooms Go High-Tech; 3D Imaging and Digital Devices Require Optimal Visual Capabilities and Eye Health

As classrooms around the country become increasingly high-tech and teachers are incorporate 3D imaging, digital devices and the latest computer applications into their daily curriculum, more children notice difficulties with the technology. The Children’s Vision Coalition (CVC) will exhibit at The 2011 Great New York State Fair, August 25 through September 5 with the theme “Are You Ready for 3D?” The booth, located in the Science & Industry Building, will highlight the impact of 3D imaging on eye and vision health, promote the value of comprehensive eye exams for children and educate visitors about the significance of vision in the learning processes of children. Volunteer optometrists will be on hand to demonstrate how 3D imaging works and explain some of the difficulties individuals have with the technology.

While 3D and digital devices can greatly enhance learning, they also increase the importance of proper eye and vision care. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2011 American Eye-Q ® survey, parents have some concern about the effects of the evolving technology. Fifty-three percent of respondents with children 18 or younger believe 3D viewing is harmful to a child’s vision or eyes and 29 percent of parents feel very concerned that their child may damage their eyes due to prolonged use of computers or hand-held electronic devices.

“Today’s classroom technology is extremely visual, making it critical for students to maintain excellent eye health,” said Edward Cordes, OD, President, CVC. “Binocular vision, focusing abilities as well as nearsightedness and farsightedness should be checked by an eye doctor yearly, particularly as students head back to school.”

Three-dimensional imaging is a technology that is quickly making its way into the classroom, allowing for virtual tours of museums or views from inside the human heart. But not everyone can see in 3D and some children experience problems. Ten percent of survey respondents report their child experienced headaches; seven percent indicated nausea and six percent said their kids felt dizzy after using 3D technology. Furthermore, the Children’s Vision Coalition estimates anywhere from three to nine million people have problems with binocular vision, prohibiting them from viewing 3D images.

“Quite simply, people who have even a small ocular misalignment or those who don’t have equal vision in both eyes may not be able to see 3D images properly,” said Dr. Cordes. ”Watching images in 3D can unmask issues such as lazy eye, convergence insufficiency, poor focusing skills and other visual problems students might not have previously known existed. When discovered, these problems should be checked by an eye doctor through a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why we’re at the Fair—to educate visitors about the importance of comprehensive eye exams, especially when issues with the eyes are noticed.”

Undetected visual problems that affect the ability to see in 3D can also have an impact on students’ future careers. The 3D@Home Consortium, in partnership with the AOA, has developed a list of professions where 3D vision, tools and design are, or will be, used frequently to complete tasks or projects. The list includes professions ranging from astronomers to surgeons, engineers to forensic scientists.

According to a new report from the AOA, research on the learning benefits of using 3D in the classroom is still in its infancy, but early findings indicate that focus, attention span, retention, classroom behavior and achievement gains are all seeing improvement. The report, “3D in the Classroom – An AOA Report,” was developed in collaboration with educators, vision researchers and specialist advisors from across the 3D industry. It is designed for teachers, students and parents and explains the optimal uses of 3D in the classroom.

The use of 3D imagery in schools compounds the already high usage of computer technology in today’s classroom. State-of-the-art computer labs are now mainstream at many schools; students often use laptops, tablets and other digital devices throughout the school day. According to the AOA’s American Eye-Q® survey, 62 percent of parents estimate their child spends one to four hours using a computer, video game, mp3 player or hand-held electronic device each day.

Unfortunately, prolonged use of these technologies can cause eyestrain, headaches, fatigue, burning or tired eyes, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. The CVC calls this condition computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS occurs when eye or vision problems related to near work are experienced during or are related to using digital devices.

“The continued popularity and use of computers and digital devices in the classroom certainly poses a number of challenges to the visual system,” said Dr. Cordes. “Many of these issues can be solved with good ergonomics and yearly, comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist.”

Students can help avoid CVS by practicing the 20-20-20 rule. At least every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and view something 20 feet away. Studies show that people need to rest their eyes to keep them moist. Plus, staring off into the distance helps the eyes from locking into a close-up position. The CVC further recommends that students take a 15-minute break for every two hours spent on computers or other digital devices.

Early detection and treatment are key in correcting vision problems and helping students see clearly. For more information on 3D vision, or to download a copy of “3D in the Classroom – An AOA Report,” visit To find an optometrist in your area, or for additional information on children’s vision and the importance of back-to-school eye exams, please visit  

Visit the Children’s Vision Coalition booth at the NYS Fair in the Science and Industry Building, August 25 through September 5. Volunteers including many optometrists will be on hand to demonstrate some effects of 3D on the eye and educate about the importance of comprehensive eye exams for children entering school.

About the American Eye-Q® survey:

The sixth annual American Eye-Q® survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB). From May 19 – 23, 2011, using an online methodology, PSB interviewed 1,000 Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of U.S. general population. (Margin of error at 95 percent confidence level.)


About the Children’s Vision Coalition (CVC):

The Children’s Vision Coalition (CVC) is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to promoting the value of regular eye examinations for children who are in the beginning stages of their school years. Based in Albany, the CVC is the foundation of the New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA). The CVC is charged with educating the public about the need for children to be visually ready to learn; reinforcing the need for comprehensive eye examinations prior to the start of elementary school; and disseminating these and other relevant messages to families, educators and those concerned about the visual welfare of school aged children. To learn more about the Children’s Vision Coalition and comprehensive eye exams for children, please visit


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