Finally, There Are Glasses That MAY Cure Your Motion Sickness
Apparently, not all of us will be part of the 5% of the world’s population that is relatively immune to motion sickness. And yes, almost all of us are susceptible to some extent, motion sickness is more common and more severe in women and people suffering from a migraine. The chances of having the condition reduce with age in many people, while the opposite is the case in others – it becomes higher.
According to a claim by a French company, there is a pair of glasses capable of reducing motion sickness in most cases (about 95%). The Boarding glasses seem like it was made to serve as swim goggles, although not for humans, considering the two round lenses on the side and another two in front. It also sports hollow rims, with each half containing blue liquid.
Speaking about the glasses, Antoine Jeannin, the CEO of Boarding Ring – the makers and sellers of the glass said, “Motion sickness comes from a sense of conflict between what your eyes can see and what your balance system and your inner ears can feel.” Anyone wearing the Boarding Glasses will be seeing an artificial horizon, which is created by the movement of the liquid, as caused by the movement of the boat or vehicle.
“Your eyes always get the reality of the movement and get a signal that is consistent with the balance system perception,” Jeannin further explained. For first time users, it is best to leave the glasses on for 10 or 12 minutes before taking them off. This ensures that such users do not feel nauseated throughout the journey.
Hubert, Jeannin’s father, invented the glasses. Hubert took a special interest in motion sickness after a career as an optics specialist, and in 2004, he patented the glasses before testing the prototypes with the French Navy. While Hubert never disclosed the specific results of the test, his son believes they were very successful (about 95% success rate). Then the Boarding Glasses company was birthed – a company that is currently run by both father and son. The glasses can be ordered on RIGAL for now, at $29,95 with Free shipping. The company is also developing a special, limited edition pair for the Citroen auto company.
The last millennium has witnessed several innovations on anti-motion sickness. There were mentions of seasickness in ancient Chinese texts, alongside “cart sickness” and “litter sickness.” Cart sickness is a form of motion sickness experienced due to riding in a horse-drawn cart, while litter sickness is experienced due to riding in a sedan chair. The first ever proposed remedy was the urine of young boys and was suggested by Zhu Danxi, the Yuan Dynasty physician. Other ancient remedies, according to the Chinese medical texts, including taking along a bit of dirt from the kitchen floor on a sea journey, or praying to the goddess of sailors to protect you from seasickness.
The ancient Romans and Greeks encountered seasickness also, although they reported that professional sailors were not susceptible to the sickness. Several remedies were proposed, including fasting before a journey; eating rose petals boiled in wine; sniffing herbs with strong smells, like mint and thyme; and rubbing ground wormwood in the nostrils among others.
While we may be witnessing the worst of motion sickness currently, records showed that it was a bit potent in the past also. Some writings of Caesar contained reports where troops were too tired to fight and were consequently killed, having been swept to the Greek shores by stormy seas. Some soldiers in Napoleon’s first ever camel corps during his Egyptian campaign got very sick from the alternating movement of animals that they could hardly fight. Over the centuries, there were documented occurrences of dehydration, and consequent occasional deaths of immigrants heading to America. Babies whose mothers were seasick and couldn’t produce enough breast milk suffered the same fate.
Even with its prevalence, motion sickness remains relatively mysterious. For some experts, it is related to the contradictions in the signals received by the eyes and the body during movements. In such cases, the eyes register no movement, while the body registers movement. Thus, one may be tempted to ask why the causes of nausea are still unknown. Well, several theories have attempted to explain this. One is a 1970 theory that believes that nausea and vomiting are signs of evolutionary adaptation to the contradiction between the body and eyes signals, and identified the consumption of toxic plants as the cause of these contradictions. Another theory, although more recent, believes that it is associated with the continuous and unavoidable body movements occurring in a moving environment.
There are contemporary and popular remedies for motion sickness. They include non-consumption of fatty foods and alcohol, gazing at the horizon, seating in strategic places in the boat/vehicle/plane, and taking Scopolamine, Dramamine and similar medications before the journey. Although they are effective, these do not outrightly cure motion sickness. And in the bid to find a permanent cure, people started chewing ginger; sucking lemons; and sniffing peppermint oil. How about taping an aspirin to the belly button? It is a popular folk remedy. While the trials and errors are ongoing, inventors have intensified efforts to come up with a cure. The results of such efforts include patented anti-motion sickness devices like a head-mounted projection device (that aligns the visual information with sensory information), a pair of blinders (for blocking out visual information), and shutter glasses (to ensure that no visual slippage comes with motion sickness).
While expressing his skepticism on the chances of the Boarding Glasses and other technology-inclined remedies working, a University of Minnesota don, Thomas Stoffregan, who is researching motion sickness said, “People have been trying to use an artificial horizon in the context of motion sickness for several decades, at least since the 1970s.” “It’s never worked. My question to this company is ‘what’s different about your virtual horizon?’” He asked.
Responding to Stoffregan’s claims, Jeannin highlighted the distinguishing ability of the Boarding Glasses to bring an artificial horizon to the peripheral vision, as evident in its unique four lenses. Despite this, Stoffregan still believes that technology must not be necessarily involved in creating the most effective motion sickness cures.
For Stoffregan, he will rather a seasickness-prone individual “get up on deck and look at the actual horizon,” he says. “In automobiles, I say sit in front and look out the window. Don’t look at the grass going by—look at the horizon. Also, sit down and use the headrest.”
While we wait for the availability of the Boarding Glasses, perhaps, we should try out Stroffregan’s theory on our subsequent trips. There isn’t harm in trying, right?