Travel sickness is also known as motion sickness. Travel sickness is a general term that incorporates seasickness, carsickness and airsickness depending on the mode of travel. The condition can cause the onset of several unpleasant symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are experienced when travelling. In the majority of cases the symptoms of travel sickness subside as the body adapts to the motions that cause the problem. Unfortunately, some sufferers are unable to adapt to the environment causing the condition so will continue to experience symptoms until their journey finishes or they leave said environment.
The vestibular system is a system in the body responsible for balance. It is comprised of a complex series of nerves, small channels and fluids that are located inside your inner ear. When the body is in motion, it causes the fluid inside the vestibular system to change position. This positional change is transmitted to the brain so that it is able to determine exactly how fast and where you are moving. This allows the body to maintain balance.
Motion sickness occurs when the body’s senses become confused. This confusion arises from conflicting information between the body’s other senses and the vestibular system. For example, if travelling in a car at forty miles an hour, your eyes register that you are in motion, travelling at speed. However, your vestibular system is telling your brain you are in fact sitting still. It’s this contradictory information that can lead to the symptoms of motion sickness.
In the majority of cases motion sickness is caused by travel, be that air, sea or land. However, motion sickness can sometimes occur from watching certain movies or playing fast-paced computer games. The shaking or motion of the camera work in some films, and the realistic graphics in computer games can generate the same mismatch of signals to the brain.