Does this Make You Sick?
It's unpleasant, confusing, and misunderstood. We are talking about motion sickness! Nothing ruins a trip or experience faster than the feelings of turbulence that motion sickness brings on. Most people do not know that the root cause may be a functional vision problem!
There's no good estimate on how many people have experienced motion sickness at one time or another, but it's most likely that we all have at some point. If you’ve ever felt dizzy or nauseous after a boat trip, amusement park ride, or car ride, you’ve experienced motion sickness!
For most people, motion sickness ends after we’ve reoriented and stabilized ourselves. Those who suffer from a functional vision problem may have motion sickness for an extended period of time and it can be an ongoing issue that affects their lives.
What is motion sickness?
There is a wide range of symptoms that can include everything from nausea to vertigo. Motion sickness usually occurs after exposure to physical, visual and/or virtual motion.
The cause of motion sickness in most cases is a mismatch between the input from the visual and vestibular (inner ear) systems. The brain gets information from both of these sources about whether a person is moving, what speed they're moving at, and in which direction. When the information is mismatched, the person will experience motion sickness.
The visual system's information about motion conflict with what is sensed by the vestibular system and this may be caused by functional vision problems.
Most of the time when people think about motion sickness, nausea and vomiting come to mind, and there are many more symptoms which can include:
- Cold sweating
- Increases in salivation
- Headache, and even severe pain
Vision leads this integration of information, and when someone has a vision problem, the visual information is not accurate which leads to them feeling motion sick or off balance.
A person’s visual, auditory and vestibular system must be working together to give a person the information they need to know where they are in their space. People who have a functional vision problem, such as eye teaming issues, eye focusing or eye movement dysfunctions, have inaccurate visual information.
Boat and Car Sickness are a result of an in-balanced input of visual information.
When someone reads in a car, they reduce their visual input of motion as they are centrally looking at the words on the page and shutting out the side vision (blocking out the motion rather than integrating the outside flow of visual information as the car or boat moves). Their vestibular system says they are moving, but the visual system doesn't see it. This mismatch causes motion sickness.
Can motion sickness be cured?
A functional vision exam is where you should start as this will detect issues that may cause motion sickness that can include reduced depth perception, poor eye teaming and focusing, and tracking and poor peripheral awareness. Vision therapy activities and exercises improve visual skills that make up functional vision. Correcting the functional vision problem involves training the entire visual system which includes the eyes, brain and visual pathways to work easily and efficiently together.
If you're tired of motion sickness ruining your experiences and want to improve your visual system, book your appointment at Halton Vision Therapy Centre, today! Call 905-319-1066.