Journal of Altitudinal Studies: Published: December 16, 2015DOI: 11.1270/journal.pone.022123
Derek Brooks, Nima Ghadiri, Adrian Pasadero, Ha-Seok Ju, University of Dartchester, Springfield, Illinois
Altitude-Associates Lacrimosity (also spelt lachrymosity) Syndrome, also known as AALS, is a novel condition first described in the United Kingdom BBC Radio Show “Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review”. It is one of a trial of lacrimosity syndromes, alongside pregnancy-induced lacrimosity syndrome (PILS) and hotel-induced lacrimosity syndrome (HILS). However, AALS is considered to be the common and fierce of the three conditions.
The postulated mechanism comprises a combination of factors: Mild brain hypoxia induced by the lower partial pressure of oxygen at altitude, the pressurized cabin atmosphere, confined space producing a more intense viewing environment, and the potentiation of these effects by alcoholic beverages.
To identify the extent by which AALS increases lacrimosity
6 films were chosen at random from the 2011-2012 year: Happy Feet 2, Spring Breakers, John Carter, Real Steel, Just Go With It, Kung Fu Panda 2
10 subjects watched these films at ground-level and at altitudes of greater than 30,000 feet. The modality of first viewing was randomised. 10 controls watched the films at ground level. To removing confounding factors, none of the subjects were pregnant, or in hotels when watching the films.
The amount of lacrimation was measured using a special paper strip (used in the Schirmer test) over the course of the film.
Average lacrimation at altitude was 5.6 times more than at ground level for the six films identified, as measured by the amount of paper wetted during the films.
Altitude Associated Lacrimosity Syndrome is a real and severe entity, and is brought about by a number of factors. Passengers may need to be made aware of this condition prior to watching films, and take rest-breaks within films to avoid embarrassing or debilitating hyper-lacrimosity.