Why do I get carsick and not airsick when reading?

Just that. If I read in the car I am guaranteed to get carsick. I understand this has to do with my inner ear and my body sensing motion when I am looking at a motionless book.

But I can read on the plane and I can read on a boat with no problems. (I have been airsick once, but that was a horribly turbulent ride and 2/3s of the passengers got sick).

Is it because we’re not touching anything? Lack of friction (other than air friction)? I read the wiki article and while it addresses each one but it doesn’t really tell me necessarily why you’d feel one and not the other.

Airsickness/carsickness/etc is caused by a lack of march between what you’re seeing and what you’re feeling, regarding motion. I know for seasickness you’re supposed to go out and look at the water to make the stimulus match.

A planes motion is basically stable as far as acceleration in the direction of travel. Once you are in the air, you basically can’t feel the forward motion at all, only vertical bumps and sideways jostles. so there isn’t a lack of match between you balance sense (I’m sitting still) and your visual sense (I’m sitting still) - until you experience turbulence.

The motion of a car is far more variable with acceleration and braking.

That makes sense and would explain why the one time I got airsick it was because of the extreme turbulence. Plus, everyone else getting sick. Thanks!

I’m not prone to motion sickness – empathetic nausea is what gets me. Stupid empathy!

It was awful! People all around me were getting sick and the smell permeated the cabin. I held out as long as I could but then no more. My mom was sick, too.

Next to me sat a very nice foreign couple. The woman did not get sick at all, and she kept rubbing my back and speaking in her language - German maybe? and trying to comfort me. I have always been grateful to her for trying to do so. :slight_smile:

Go fly in a tiny Cessna or something where you can see outside more and turbulence is felt easier. You’ll stop reading quick. In a passenger jet you can even slide down the window cover.

I would love to, but unfortunately I don’t know anyone with a Cessna and probably never will, and I can’t afford my own. :frowning:

I’m the same way. Curious if you also get it in the movie theaters. I’m fine if I’m sitting far enough back, but last Friday we bought our tickets late to World War Z in 3D. The movie had assigned seating and we were in row 3. I missed a good 20 minutes of the movie as I was turning green.

No, never. I play a lot of video games, though. I do sometimes feel a little sick if someone else is playing and I am watching over their shoulder.

I was going to provide a similar explanation until I saw this:

What kind of boat are we talking about here? Cruise ships might be pretty stable, a cabin cruiser on the bay, not so much.

Ah, DIMS. Doom Induced Motion Sickness. The first video gaming related case I ever heard of where the discrepancy between visual (on-screen perceived motion) and vestibular (inner ear registering no motion at all) senses causing motion sickness.

I’m not particularly motion-sickness prone, but I definitely got rather vertiginous the first few hours I played Doom.

Damn. Now I feel like busting that game out again and chaingunning some demons.

I don’t get terribly severe carsickness when reading in an automobile, though perhaps that’s because I have the good sense to stop reading when I start getting car sick. But as I recall, I mostly ran into this on Long Family Trips when I would try to read in the back seat (or worse, stuck in the middle of the bench seat in my dad’s truck :rolleyes:). Speed was fairly constant–no significant acceleration or deceleration, thanks to the wonders of cruise control.

But the worst thing I ever done…

I have never been on a cruise ship. I have mostly been on the tour ships, like we took one to Boblo Island, I took the Tall Ship Windy, a real sailboat, in Chicago, I’ve been whale-watching, I’ve taken water taxis. Stuff like that. In all cases I was in the open air and I have never spent a night on a boat, so things might change in those cases.

My favorite story to tell was when we went to the Palace of Gold. We went with family friends. I was about fifteen or sixteen and had a great big crush on their son, who was about 22 or 24. (He thought of me like a beloved sister). Anyway, because I was the ‘kid’ I got put in the middle back. Well, even without reading I got sick…and threw up all over my crush’s lap. :frowning:

He was soooooo nice about it…

gnoitall, I don’t get motion sickness if I am playing. Only if someone else is (and thus, controlling the movement.

LawMonkey, I knew what that was without even clicking on it. :slight_smile: I totally sympathized with those theatre-goers.

My SO gets motion sick, and we’ve experimented, trying to figure out what he can and can’t handle.
Cars are ok, as long as he is looking out the windows, and not concentrating on something inside the car. Back seats on long rides are bad.
Glass bottom boats - worst idea ever - vision and inner ear are going different directions, and no breeze.
Larger boats with little superstructure and a good view of the horizon - doable. We’ve been on a 3 masted schooner, a good sized catamaran, and a couple of other group day-tour boats. As long as he has a view of the horizon and a breeze, things are good. Going to the head was a bit iffy.
We haven’t decided yet if we want to risk a cruise. It’s one thing to get nauseous during a 3 hour cruise, it’s something else to be sick for a multi-day trip.

Tangential, but concerning the importance of what you see vs. what you feel:

At a World’s Fair, one of the exhibits was a Circle-Vision 360º movie theater. The image surrounds you and fills your periferal vision. The film shown was of a helicopter ride and then an ambulance racing through streets, in both cases with lots of careening and sharp turns. We were on flat unmoving ground, but were instructed to hold onto the railings next to us so that we wouldn’t fall over when reflexively leaning in response to the motion we were seeing. And yes, even when you know what’s going on, you lean when watching it.