Can You Wear 3D Glasses Over Eyeglasses?

Did you scream in fear or sheer excitement and ducked your head when the dragon hurled fire straight at your face? That’s the stupendous effect of 3D glasses! Besides the two dimensions (height and breadth) in an image or movie, the third dimension is the depth perception that elicits the real-life effect. Although watching a 3D movie can be very exciting, you need special 3D glasses to get the full effect.

But what if you already wear prescription glasses? Can you wear 3D glasses over eyeglasses? Well, that indeed is a problem and does not have a ready solution. You wear prescription glasses for vision correction. Replacing it with 3D glasses will lose clarity and also risk damaging your vision power more. Everything will look blurred and a maze of hues.

The good news is there are ways to enjoy a 3D movie even if you already use eyewear. The 3D technology in movies is not very new and the film industry has been rolling out such movies for several decades. These days several sci-fi and fantasy movies are in 3D. You may have enjoyed a few.  

This article explores the possibilities of wearing 3D glasses over eyeglasses. However, before we seek a solution, let us first understand the problem.

How Does 3D Glass Work?

The science of 3D glasses is basically quite simple and clear and depends on how our eyes perceive 3D images. Three-dimensional (3D) signals are transmitted in various ways to a TV or movie screen. An internal decoder in the TV or projector converts the type of 3D encoding being used.

Both eyes receive information asynchronously when a 3D image is transmitted to the screen. However, on the screen, these images blend. The image would otherwise look blurred to the naked eye, and requires 3D glasses to decode. These special glasses filter offset images from a single source or split the light source so that each eye sees a different offset image.

3D glasses perform different tasks on the left and right lenses, deceiving the brain into thinking that the two images on each eye are actually one. The end result is a 3D image in our minds with amazing real-life effects. The depth perception will get affected if both eyes do not contribute synchronously. This means, if you cover one eye, you will not get a 3D effect of the image.


Similar concepts are applied to produce a 3D image on a movie screen. It records two distinct images. Each eye can view only one image with the aid of special glasses. The brain then combines these to form a single 3D illusion.

Solutions to Wear 3D Glasses over Eyeglasses

Images in 3D movies appear to jump off the screen, bringing them to life and giving you an experience that is more thrilling and action-packed. In earlier days, the old red and blue glasses used color to filter the images viewed by each eye. But now modern clear glasses use polarization rather than color to filter what the eye can see.

Here is our recommendation for wearing 3D glasses over your eyeglasses.

Wear 3D Glass over Eyeglass

The most common and easiest way is to simply wear the 3D glasses over your eyeglasses. This sure is uncomfortable and can be heavy on your ears but the quickest tip to follow. There may even be special 3D glasses available in some theaters that can be worn over regular glasses. The frame size would be slightly bigger to accommodate your eyeglasses in it.

Replace Eyeglasses with Contacts

You may avoid wearing glasses when watching a 3D movie. Instead, wear contact lenses if you have them. You can wear comfortably 3D glasses with contacts. The 3D glasses do not affect your vision power, but rather aid each eye in seeing brilliant, vivid images.

TIP: Wear 3D glasses over contacts only if you have a contact lens prescription.

Prescription 3D Glasses

Some manufacturers have developed clip-on glasses that can be worn while watching 3D movies and television. These glasses can be worn in conjunction with regular eyeglasses.

Leading eyewear company Luxottica announced in 2010 that their Oakley brand would be the first to offer 3D prescription glasses. Since then, Oakley has created a variety of innovative 3D glasses, though not all of them are prescription-based.

Polarized 3D Glasses

You get low-cost eyeglasses with polarizing filters in both eyes. Because the polarization of the left and right filters differs, each eye only receives the image with the matching polarization. There are two types of polarized 3D glasses – Linearly polarized glasses and Circularly polarized glasses. Both glasses perform slightly differently.

A linearly polarized glass requires the viewer to maintain a level head, as tilting the viewing filters causes images from the left and right channels to seep over to the opposite channel. This can make prolonged viewing uncomfortable. A circularly polarized glass, on the other hand, allows the viewer to tilt their head while maintaining the left/right segregation.

3D Television

Several manufacturers were working on auto-stereoscopic high-definition 3D televisions that used lenticular lens systems to eliminate the need for special spectacles. 3DTV conveys depth perception to the viewer through the use of techniques such as stereoscopic display, multi-view display, 2D-plus-depth, or any other type of 3D display.

3D glasses

Nevertheless, not every TV can display 3D content. And not all 3D movies are created using the same 3D technology. You should know the type of 3D technology the movie uses before purchasing a pair of 3D glasses.

Extended use of these special glasses on gaming consoles and television screens can cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Although these may be short-term effects, they could damage your eyes if you already wear prescription glasses. We advise for children to limit their viewing time using 3D glasses to avoid eye problems.


Wearing eyeglasses can make it more difficult to enjoy the 3D movie or a TV show, but it's not impossible. For those who wear glasses, we have listed many choices. Watching 3D movies is possible even if you have to wear eyeglasses. Go ahead; enjoy the latest 3D movie at your nearest theatre.