Courtesy of Citroen

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If you’ve ever had a voyage, vacation, or business trip ruined by motion sickness, you’re not alone.

According to clinical evidence, between 25 and 60 percent of passengers on cruise ships experience motion sickness while aboard. And 1 in 3 people traveling by other means have felt the effects of motion sickness, too.

Pharmacy shelves are lined with possible remedies that include patches, pills, lozenges, and bracelets. And now, thanks to French automaker Citroen and a couple of other companies, motion sickness glasses may be an option, too.

So, how do these glasses work? Are they effective? This article will help provide answers to those questions.

Motion sickness is caused by a mismatch in the cues coming from your eyes, your vestibular (balance) system, and the movement sensors in your brain.

When your body’s sensory organs get mixed messages about your movement, it can result in a stress response. This can cause:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • vomiting

In some cases, your vision may even blur, you may feel sleepy, or you may experience a headache.

There are a few different types of glasses that claim to help reduce or prevent motion sickness symptoms.

Marketed under the names Boarding Glasses and Seetroën, these types of motion sickness glasses claim to have cured up to 95 percent of motion sickness cases in their initial tests.

Here’s how they work:

  • The eyeglasses are framed by four circular rims, two in front and one ring on each side. The rims are tubular and filled with brightly colored liquid (either blue or red).
  • As your vehicle rises, falls, or turns, the liquid in the rims moves, too. It’s meant to create an artificial horizon in your field of vision. The creators of these glasses claim that this artificial horizon balances the information your brain receives. This, in turn, helps eliminate sensory mismatch, the stress response, and motion sickness symptoms.
  • The instructions indicate that users should put them on at the first sign of motion sickness and wear them for 10 minutes, until the symptoms are relieved.

Although the motion sickness glasses made by the French automaker Citroën aren’t currently available via a U.S.-based website, similar designs by other manufacturers can be found online.

Another type of anti-motion sickness eyewear is marketed under the name of Xpand. These battery-operated glasses aim to balance the mismatch between your visual and balance input with strobing flashes of LED light.

Don’t use Xpand glasses if you have any of the following conditions, as the strobing light may cause problems:

The Xpand user guide advises that people taking the following medications shouldn’t use the glasses either:

  • methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)
  • sleep medications
  • quinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, or metronidazole
  • mood stabilizers or antipsychotics, such as haloperidol, bupropion, or lithium

Buy Xpand motion sickness glasses online.

Although the Citroën website states that its type of motion sickness glasses have cured up to 95 percent of motion sickness cases in initial tests, there isn’t any published research at this point in time to verify those findings.

However, there’s some evidence that prism glasses, which are specially designed to correct double vision in people, may be effective against motion sickness.

One study conducted back in 1998 found that an unexpected side effect of the prism glasses was that children, who are normally sensitive to motion, didn’t feel as sick and also threw up less when they wore the glasses. The children’s symptoms came back as soon as they stopped wearing the glasses.

But like many remedies for seasickness and motion sickness, what works for one person might not work for someone else. It’s also possible the glasses could work for land travel but be less effective if you’re on a ship.

If you’d prefer to try other motion sickness remedies, there are several other options to consider.

Change the input from your eyes

To balance the mismatch in visual and vestibular cues, you may be able to reduce your motion sickness symptoms by changing what you see in these ways:

  • Move to the front seat in a vehicle. Avoid sitting in the back seat.
  • Change your body position. If you’re sitting, try lying down or standing.
  • Fix your gaze on a distant object that isn’t moving.
  • Make sure you’re facing forward.
  • Don’t try to read or watch videos while you’re moving.

Consider OTC medication

Several types of over-the-counter (OTC) medications may help prevent or ease the symptoms of motion sickness. Some options include:

Take your medication 30 to 60 minutes before you expect to need it. Some of these medications have side effects and aren’t appropriate for everyone. Check with your doctor before using them.

One common side effect of these medications is drowsiness, so avoid driving or using dangerous tools after taking it.

Wear a scopolamine patch

Scopolamine requires a prescription from your doctor. It’s usually administered through a patch worn on the skin behind your ear. According to a review of clinical studies, this medication has been shown to be effective at preventing seasickness.

The patch should be applied 4 to 8 hours before you plan to travel.

It’s not recommended for children younger than 10 years old or older adults. Scopolamine is also available by injection, pill, or nasal spray.

Try a supplement

Researchers have found that ginger may be an effective way to prevent nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset. You can try powdered ginger root in capsules, ginger candy, ginger snaps, ginger tea, or ginger ale.

Vitamin C may be another option. In a 2014 study that tested the effectiveness of vitamin C on seasickness, 63 people boarded a life raft and were subjected to 1-meter waves for 20 minutes. Vitamin C reduced symptoms in both women and men aboard the life raft.

Consider acupressure bracelets

Some people are able to alleviate motion sickness symptoms by applying pressure to the P6 point on their wrist.

However, research offers mixed support for the use of acupressure bracelets or bands to prevent motion sickness.

Eat or drink something

Some doctors recommend eating a light snack (like a few crackers) or drinking a few sips of a carbonated beverage to ease motion sickness symptoms.

Motion sickness usually resolves on its own within 24 hours after the motion stops. Some people even become accustomed to motion on longer cruises and train trips, and their symptoms may ease or go away.

It’s possible that you could become dehydrated if you vomit a great deal due to motion sickness. Try to drink as much fluid as possible to avoid dehydration.

Get medical attention if you experience:

Besides the possibility of dehydration, motion sickness isn’t likely to cause any long-term health issues.

See your doctor if you travel frequently and often experience motion sickness. There may be prescription medications or other treatment options available to you.

Motion sickness is a common response to travel on a moving vehicle, such as a boat, train, airplane, or car. Symptoms typically include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sweating.

Recently, eyeglasses designed to prevent motion sickness have hit the market. They claim to create a false horizon with liquid-filled tubes in the rims of the glasses, or with strobing lights embedded in the lenses.

There’s no published research yet to confirm the effectiveness of these glasses.

Other options for motion sickness include OTC medications, scopolamine patches, ginger, or vitamin C supplements.

Sitting in the front seat, facing forward, and not reading while you’re moving may also help minimize the discrepancy between your eyes and your brain, and thus your motion sickness symptoms.