Conquer Motion Sickness This Summer
Summer is the time to indulge your sense of adventure – unless the very thought of sunset cruises and roller coasters make you heave. If so, you’re not alone. 70 percent of people are susceptible to motion sickness, according to one study conducted by NASA. “Motion sickness is a slippery eel because it’s so profoundly subjective,” Thomas Stoffregen, a kinesiology professor at the University of Minnesota, tells Yahoo Health. The set of circumstances that trigger symptoms varies greatly, as do the symptoms themselves, which typically include nausea, pale skin, cold sweats, fatigue, headaches, saliva production, and the dreaded vomiting.
And you don’t even have to move to feel nauseous. Many feel sick while sitting through cinéma vérité-style blockbusters à la “Cloverfield” or “Earth to Echo,” watching moving graphics on a smartphone, or playing virtual games such as Oculus Rift. “The perceived wisdom on this head-mounted display is that it’s going to revolutionize our interaction with the Internet,” says Stoffregen. “The problem with Oculus Rift is that it induces motion sickness in a disturbingly large number of people who use it.”
Surely, with motion sickness such a common ailment, there must be some kind of evolutionary advantage — right? “It’s unknown,” Charles Horn, PhD, who studies the neurobiology of nausea and vomiting at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Medicine, writes in an email to Yahoo Health. However, he points to one possibility, only in the case of nausea resulting from food poisoning. “It seems clear that this gut-to-brain response can help us to learn to avoid consumption of toxic foods in the future and through vomiting expel these offending substances from the gut immediately. In contrast, motion sickness seems to have no adaptive advantage.”
Here are some coping mechanisms: