Travel Sickness - 2020 Review
Some excellent advice from our friends at CDC about travel sickness. We refer to it as sea sickness or air sickness, depending on the craft we are traveling in. But, it is the same thing – a disconnect between eyes, inner ear, and brain.
Our experience of this at AardvarkCompare comes through our CEO, Jonathan Breeze, a former Royal Air Force pilot. We will hear from him at the end of the article.
Travel Sickness - Overview
Travel sickness results when the motion you see is different from the motion sensed by your inner ear. It can occur in a car, train, airplane, or boat. Anyone can get motion sickness, although children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. It can cause dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, and although it is not a serious condition, motion sickness can make traveling very unpleasant.
Preventing Motion Sickness
In a car or bus, sit in the front (or drive, if possible). In an airplane, sit over the wing. On a cruise ship, try to get a central cabin. Close your eyes or focus them on the horizon. Stimulating your other senses can distract you from the motion. Aromatherapy (mint or lavender), ginger candy, or other flavored lozenges may help.
Motion Sickness - Medicines
Medicines can be used to prevent or treat motion sickness, although many of them have the unwanted side effect of making you sleepy. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you if you think you need medicine for motion sickness. Commonly used medicines are diphenhydramine (Benadryl), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), and scopolamine.
Travel Sickness – Jonathan Breeze
Some great advice from CDC. As always, they offer clear and concise solutions. I’d like to give a little more background.
Travel sickness is essentially a disconnect between the inner ear, eyes, and brain. Many of us will have experienced this as a child traveling in the back of a car when reading. Our brain is processing information that it receives from all of our senses. Its primary reference sources for motion are the inner ear and eyes.
Travel Sickness – Harmony
If we have harmony then all is well – no travel sickness is felt. What do I mean by harmony? I mean that the inner ear is sensing the same motion that the eyes are seeing. Think about riding a bicycle across bumpy terrain. Your inner ear is sensing all those little bumps, jumps, swerves and slides. Your eyes are seeing the exact same terrain. There is harmony between eyes and ears.
Now, remember back to our time in the back of a car. The car is moving around, and our inner ear senses this. But our eyes are focused on the book we are reading – we have a disconnect. There is no harmony.
Travel Sickness – Feels like Poison
Our brain knows that eyes and ears should always agree. If they do not, there is a good chance that something is terribly wrong. Historically, this would ‘feel’ like a case of poisoning. What is the best way to expel poison in the stomach? Just vomit.
So, our bodies are programmed to vomit in the event of a disconnect between inner ear and eyes. Travel sickness is that feeling of nausea that our bodies are self-generating to get us to vomit the ‘poison’ that it assumes we are suffering from.
Motion Sickness – Solution
The solution to motion sickness is to regain the harmony. Re-connect eyes, inner ear and brain. Sounds simple? It is – just look out of the window. Note that CDC asks us to close our eyes – that works if we don’t have a window. It works as we take the eyes away from the inner ear.
But if we can look out the window we get harmony far more swiftly.
Enjoy the view.