What is kinetosis?

What do a camel and a ship have in common and what distinguishes the whale from humans? For Lawrence of Arabia, the camel was at the heart of the "evil, " and for the English kings, shipping. The whale, though he is also a mammal, no longer has any problems: we are talking about kinetosis. The term was derived from the Greek word for kinein. In English, the term is translated as "motion sickness". In this country is spoken of movement dizziness, seasickness, flight sickness or motion sickness.

When the balance organ in the inner ear rebels

The first signs of vertigo are yawning, paleness, tiredness and headache. If it has hit the traveler harder, nausea and vomiting must be expected. The cause is a conflict in the brain, in our "control center". This gets a "data conflict" reported: eyes and organ of balance report different states. When driving, the eyes report movement, which the balance organ in the inner ear does not detect. On ships, this "data salad" behaves the other way round. Kinetosis is therefore a conflict of non-matching sensory impressions.

Kinetosis: infants not affected

The equilibrium organ is part of the inner ear and consists of three semicircular canals, which are like the walls of a room at right angles to each other. In the corridors is a gel-like mass. If this is in motion, this is passed on to the brain by fine hairs in the semicircular canals. Infants do not suffer from kinetosis because their organ of balance is not yet sufficiently developed. Since the sensory organs also "age" within the framework of the natural aging process, older people suffer less frequently from kinetosis. While sleeping, the organ of equilibrium sleeps. Sensitive people can therefore only be recommended a night ferry ride.

Otherwise, with kinetosis: Concentrate on the movement of the vehicle, so unite your sensory impressions!

Whales do not get seasick

Scientists have reported in the journal "Nature" (417, 163-166, 09 May 2002) that the canals of whales, whose ancestors were land creatures, have shrunk in a rapid evolutionary step after the "step into the sea". If they remained as big as before, the world's largest mammals would be followed by permanent kinetosis in their twists and turns in the cool water.

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