Huge interest in Burgh Castle farmer’s travel sickness ‘cure’

Tim and Denise Flaxman testing glasses Tim and Denise Flaxman testing glasses

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
5:05 PM

A Norfolk farmer has been inundated with phone calls from desperate travel sickness sufferers since sunglasses he invented to relieve the misery were featured on television.

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Tim Flaxman, 53, who runs a livery farm in Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, said his life had been blighted by motion sickness until he discovered one night while travelling on the London Underground after visiting a theatre that if he covered one eye he did not feel ill.

The story of how he spent 10 years and £85,000 designing and developing a special pair of glasses with one eyepiece so opaque the wearer cannot see movement through it was told on Sunday night on a programme Make Me a Millionaire Inventor on the Pick channel.

Mr Flaxman, who also runs a Caravan Club site, said: “Since the programme I have had lots of phone calls from sufferers offering to take part in trials.”

He said he had collated all the information and forthcoming trials could include one with coach passengers and another with offshore windfarm workers braving the sea swell to inspect windfarms.

His glasses, called TravelShades, are perfectly symmetrical so the wearer can change the eye that is blocked simply by turning the glasses upside down.

He said: “It has liberated me. I have flown to France, travelled round Europe in the back of a car and tested them at sea. I am thrilled.”

Previously, motion sickness had blighted his life and he recalled the “awful experience” of going on a boat to watch the seals on Scroby Sands.

He said: “There were careers I could not even consider. My father was a fireman and I might have liked to follow in his footsteps.”

Motion sickness is caused by an imbalance between what the body is experiencing and the visual signals sent to the brain; the glasses stop the conflicting signals by closing down one source, cutting vision from 3D to 2D so reducing the perception of movement.

Mr Flaxman, who had previously tried all manner of other ‘cures’, such as wearing magnetic bracelets, is now working with a design company and manufacturing business to market the glasses.

However, he said: “It is still too early to tell if the programme’s title will come true!”

2 comments

  • Hi Spooky, the glasses in the picture are a prototype from 2010 on a travel sick free flight to France. The TravelShades that will hopefully get to market will be somewhat unusual in that they can be rotated through 180 degrees to enable them to periodically cover either eye to allay any potential eye strain. Down to careful design they will look similar to ordinary sunglasses. Hope that clarifies things. Maybe there will be boat trips for you yet.

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    Denise Flaxman

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

  • So everyone who wears these 'sunglasses' will be going around looking like they've either had an operation on their eye or have an eye infection. I suffered from motion sickness for years, but for some years now by doing a lot of travelling on a bus or in a car and making sure that I sit where I can see straight out the front, it doesn't bother me anymore. Sea trips might be different though, don't do those.

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    Spooky

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

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