Doctors say Avatar can leave movie-goers with vertigo

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - "Avatar" is the highest grossing movie in history, and besides breaking records, the movie has set the standard for special effects.

Thousands of people in the Wilmington area have seen the movie.  Most left the theater satisfied by what the saw, but some say they are leaving feeling a little sick.

Wilmington resident Kristen Santiago is one of millions who saw "Avatar" and was blown away, but the special effects from the movie left her boyfriend feeling queasy.

"We went for my birthday and the whole movie he just kept getting dizzy and he had to take off his glasses and look away for a while," said Santiago.  "He got nauseated."

There are several articles online reporting some people who have watched the movie in 3-D say they left the theater feeling as if they had vertigo.

According to Dr. Sam Armitage with Pelican Family Practice in Wilmington, 3-D movies provide a sense of movement when there really isn't any.

"When you get a discord between your inner ear - which senses movement - and what the eye tells the brain is movement, you can get this dizzy effect or vertigo feeling," said Armitage.

"Avatar" is close to three hours long, which is a long time to watch something in 3-D, according to Armitage.

Many people who have watched "Avatar" without the 3-D special effects say they did not get sick. But others say you must watch the movie in 3-D to get the full effect.

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