Samsung's 3D television sets went on sale recently, despite a lengthy warning issued by Samsung about associated health risks.
From Samsung's official statement:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, immediately stop watching 3D pictures and consult a medical specialist: (1) altered vision; (2) lightheadedness; (3) dizziness; (4) involuntary movements such as eye or muscle twitching; (5) confusion; (6) nausea; (7) loss of awareness; (8) convulsions; (9) cramps; and/or (10) disorientation. Parents should monitor and ask their children about the above symptoms as children and teenagers may be more likely to experience these symptoms than adults.
Among the at-risk groups Samsung highlights are pregnant women, young children, teens, the elderly, people prone to seizures or stroke, people prone to dizziness or motion sickness, people with eye problems, people who are out of shape, and people who have been drinking.
Doctors have also chimed in, backing up Samsung's warnings and advising people to limit time spent in front of the tube.
View our slideshow of people at risk and how they may be affected, then tell us what you think.
Samsung cautions consumers on its website, 'We do not recommend watching 3D if you are in bad physical condition, need sleep or have been drinking alcohol.' [Italics added]
Pregnant women 'should avoid utilizing the unit's 3D functionality,' Samsung warns, explaining that women who are expecting, as well as others, are at risk for 'motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain, and decreased postural stability.'
3D TV viewing can cause eye strain, but people who are intoxicated or short on sleep can be more at risk. The director of ophthalmology at Maimonides Medical Center, Dr. Norman Saffra, advises, "People under the influence of alcohol lose some of their control over their eye muscles, so watching a 3D movie or TV show becomes more challenging for them."
The most at-risk groups, according to Samsung, are those prone to photosensitive seizures or stroke. In addition, people with eye problems are warned to avoid prolonged exposure to 3D TVs. People with weak eye muscles or who are unable to see in 3D could stress their eye muscle systems, one doctor cautions.
Though children and teens seem like the ideal consumers of 3D TV, they are prone to dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms associated with 3D TV, Samsung cautions. 'WARNING,' Samsung wrote on its website, 'children and teenagers may be more susceptible to health issues associated with viewing in 3D and should be closely supervised when viewing these images.'
According to the Daily Mail, a Samsung spokesperson explained that 'watching 3D-TV is an entirely new experience for people,' and warned that the novel experience could be so immersive that it leads to dizziness and confusion. This could be particularly harmful to the elderly. One section of the Samsung warning reads, '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 Samsung's new line of 3D TVs warn against prolonged exposure to 3D TVs for kids (kids under 6 shouldn't watch at all)," Fox News wrote on April 14. However, by April 16, Samsung had revised its guidelines and removed the warning about children under six.