Parents advised of 3D warning signs for children's vision

Why a sight test is one of the ‘bare necessities’ of life

Hailed as one of this year’s biggest releases, Jon Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book arrives in UK cinemas tomorrow. With film critics highlighting the dramatic 3D imagery, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is reminding the public of key signs to look out for if children are having problems watching the film in 3D.

Optometrist Henry Leonard, Clinical and Regulatory Officer at the AOP, said: “Difficulty watching 3D films comfortably can be an early sign of visual problems. To be able to get the full 3D effect and view the film comfortably, you need good binocular vision – both eyes seeing clearly and working together correctly. Children need a clear, sharp image in each eye in order for their vision to develop properly. If something upsets that balance, it can lead to reduced vision – known as amblyopia – in one or both eyes and poor 3D vision. If the problem only affects one eye it can easily go unnoticed, resulting in a ‘lazy eye’. If children struggle to watch 3D films or fail to appreciate the 3D effect, this could be an early sign that they may be suffering from these kinds of visual problems.”

Commenting on warning signs for parents to look out for, Mr Leonard said: “The short-term effects of 3D viewing are the same for adults and children. If a child doesn’t see the 3D effect, or experiences dizziness, headaches or visual discomfort - it’s time to visit your optometrist, at your local opticians. Optometrists are trained to identify visual problems and many conditions – including amblyopia – can be treated if picked up early enough.”

Mr Leonard added: “There’s an estimated one million children with undiagnosed vision defects1. Children who can’t see properly are usually unaware that their vision is not normal and parents may not know there’s a problem either, especially if only one eye is affected. 3D films can help raise awareness of the importance of good vision. Remember, your optometrist should be your first port of call if you have any eye concerns; they can assess the problem and, if necessary, refer you to the right place for treatment.”

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Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists 

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading professional membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of 16,000 plus members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. As a founding member of the Optical Confederation we work with others to improve eye health for the public good.

Optometrists and eye health

Optometrists are eye health professionals and the services they provide are far wider than a simple test to determine whether glasses or contact lenses are required to correct vision. A sight test is not about getting a pair of glasses – it is a vital health check for your eyes. 

As well as an eye health check, a sight test might detect signs of underlying general health conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Everyone should have a sight test every two years, or more often if your optometrist recommends it. Find more patient information at

1. Up to one million children in the UK currently have an undetected vision problem. Statistics provided by the Eyecare Trust and based on DCSF 2009 School Census 0-12 year olds.