Do you suffer from motion sickness? An article published on BBC.com and featuring our very own Dr. Sujana Chandrasekhar does an excellent job of explaining motion sickness and offering effective solutions.
“Other tips are to always place yourself in a spot where your eyes see the same motion that your body and inner ears feel; for instance, it’s best to sit in the front seat of a car and focus on distant scenery, recommends Sujana Chandrasekhar, director of the Comprehensive Balance Center in New York.”
The search for an effective cure for motion sickness
Excerpt from BBC.com, August 17, 2015
It’s a form of sickness that affects about one in three people. We can’t predict who will succumb or when. And there’s no cure, discovers Katia Moskvitch.
Motion sickness can seem like a minor ailment to those blessed with a sturdy constitution. “People don’t die from motion sickness,” says Bill Yates, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. But for sufferers it can be a real problem – particularly since the modern world doles up motion sickness-inducing scenarios on an almost daily basis: planes hit turbulence; cars swerve suddenly; ships list on a rough sea.
The condition can even impact our career choices. At 15, all I wanted to be was an astronaut. Acute motion sickness stepped in and said ‘nope’: I realised I was never going to adapt to the weightless interior of a spacecraft. Recently I had the chance to confirm my hunch. Strapped to the inner ring of an aerotrim, or ‘human gyroscope,’ with all its three rings rotating around different axes, I felt like my brain was spinning in one direction while my innards were pulled elsewhere.
But what exactly causes motion sickness? And is there any hope for a treatment?
In 1977, Michel Treisman, a psychologist at the University of Oxford, suggested that motion sickness might be an evolutionary response to food poisoning. His idea was that if your taste buds or the gut’s chemosensory system don’t spot a toxin in a meal, the dizziness and vomiting could be a fallback system.
That remains to be proven. The most popular explanation for motion sickness, however, is that it arises from a visual-vestibular mismatch. In simple terms, the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the body’s balance receptors: the inner ears (vestibular system), the eyes (visual system), and the muscles down the back all the way to your feet (proprioceptive system). Basically, when you’re in a car or a plane, your inner ear signals that you’re moving, but your eyes say that you’re not – because your body is motionless in relation to its immediate environment, such as your seat, the floor, or the seat in front.
Read the full article on BBC.com: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150814-the-search-for-an-effective-cure-for-motion-sickness