Where does the travel sickness come from?

For many people, traveling sickness is a constant and unpleasant companion on long trips in the car, at sea or while traveling by plane. Travel sickness is not a disease, but a normal reaction of the body to external, unfamiliar stimuli. Doctors call this feeling disorder kinetosis ("kinein" is the Greek word for "move").

Dizziness, nausea and vomiting

The most important sensory organ for the spatial position is the equilibrium organ in the inner ear. If the head or the body is moved, then the moving lymphatic fluid in the so-called vestibulum stimulates tiny sensory hairs, which pass on this information to the cerebellum - the actual control center of the sense of balance.

If, however, the eyes report a movement (eg car drive), but the other parts of the body stand still (sitting in the car), the dreaded travel sickness threatens. The reason: The contradictory information can no longer be brought to the cerebellum to match, the "central computer" crashes, so to speak. Movement and standstill - contradictory stimuli, the body reacts with stress.

Tips and tricks against travel sickness

  • Avoid foods and drinks that irritate the stomach before and during the journey. Do without alcohol and nicotine!
  • Do not read while driving.
  • Light snacks for in between (for example, fruits, vegetables, crispbread, rusks).
  • Better sit in the front of the car.
  • Open the window in between! Fresh air is good.
  • Take frequent breaks in which you move.
  • The view of distant fixed points protects the organ of balance.
  • In the plane is the best place in the aisle above the wings.
  • Also stay on the ship on deck and in the middle.
  • In bus or train sitting in the direction of travel.
  • Start traveling with children at night, since the equilibrium system is at rest during sleep.
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