View Full Version : Car Sickness
Ocular Synchronization....Eustacian Tubularity. It sounds like a Martian Geography quiz. Okay.....this is meant with NO disrespect to the subjects about to be mentioned. The answer provided us by the crack SDStaff on carsickness begs a query. Please, take this in the manner in which it is intended- a logical progression of thought.
Can blind people get carsick? If one is missing one half of the dreaded schism, eye-to-inner-ear wise....then ? No nausea? I would venture that if I did a rollercoaster blindfolded, I would get sick anyway. False logic? Help me out here, and again- not a whiff of insult to those who are vision impaired. Just curious, I need to know the Straight Dope on this one.....
With all proper pomp and circumnstance ( this is my first missive ), I remain,
Typer Your Humble Servant-Type
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Link to Staff Report: Why do people get car sick? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcarsick.html) -- CKDH
SDStaff Hawk does say that closing his eyes helps, by disconnecting the visual message from the inner-ear balance. I've passed your comment on to him, to see if he wants to elaborate.
Motion sickness as experienced on a roller coaster may have different causes than motion sickness as experienced in a car. The difference being how food is being tossed around in your stomach (and perhaps intestines).
There are airplane pilots that never experience any motion sickness until they take an acrobatic flight lesson, and they experience 0 (or less) G-force.
closing his eyes helps by disconnecting the visual message from the inner-ear balance
Why is it then that I never feel queasy when I'm awake and my eyes are open and, presumably, visual cues are being processed in conjunction with my inner ear), but if I close my eyes to take a nap it's nausea city?
Tom: is it just closing your eyes, or closing your eyes and tilting your head?
I hang upside down by my prehensile tail whilst napping on a branch....with no nausea. What does THIS mean??? :)
Some issues with the carsickness answer; sorry of my memory of biology is off.
1. "When you're in a car or boat, the eyes may tell the brain that the body is not in motion--you're just sitting there"
- Only if you're in a car/boat with no windows. Otherwise, your eyes tell you that you ARE moving; things are passing by.
2. "On the other hand, the other mechanism of the inner ear, the one that monitors dynamic equilibrium, is screaming. It's telling the brain that the head/body is in motion."
- There is only one mechanism in the ear that deals with motion is the semicircular canals, three canals at 90 degree angles to each other, which allow you to feel angular acceleration. But if you are in a car moving at a fixed speed and not accelerating, they tell you that you are sitting still.
So the eye/ear disconnect that causes motion sickness is caused by your eyes saying you are moving, and your ears insisting that you aren't.
John W. Kennedy
03-17-2003, 06:38 AM
You've just come up with an explanation for why people might get carsick while riding through a narrow tunnel with a perfectly paved and flat roadbed.
Most people get carsick riding on ordinary roads with a view that extends to the horizon.
C K Dexter Haven
03-18-2003, 07:21 AM
argh, welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, an interesting first post (dragging up a long long ago topic, too!) and we're glad to have you with us!
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