How to Prevent Motion Sickness

According to medical doctors, motion sickness is an unpleasant temporary disturbance of your sense of balance and equilibrium that occurs while traveling by road, sea or air. Motion sickness is often characterized by nausea, dizziness and stomach upset.

What is motion sickness?

According to  medical doctors, travel sickness is an unpleasant temporary disturbance of your sense of balance and equilibrium that occurs while traveling by road, sea or air.  Motion sickness is often characterized by nausea, dizziness and an stomach upset.  Some people will also experience:

  • Cold sweats
  • Excess saliva production
  • Yawning
  • Rapid shallow breathing

These symptoms usually begin soon after embarking and worsen as the journey continues.

Types of motion sickness

  • Car sickness.  Many individuals, especially children suffer travel sickness in cars.
  • Sea sickness.  Sea sickness would be a terrible burden when going on a cruise.
  • Air sickness.  Air sickness can be associated with the fear of flying. Also prolonged periods of immobility in a very long trans continental flights.

What causes motion sickness?

Moion sickness is caused by strong repetitive movements, usually produced by a car, boat or airplane.  According to a professor in biology, our body's sense of balanced and equilibrium are maintained by three elements:

  • Inner ear.  Inner ear contains fluid-filled canals that react to strong repetitive movements.
  • Eyes.  Which tell the brain where you are in space.  It confirm your direction of motion.
  • Joints and muscles.   Joints and muscles tell the brain which parts of the body is moving.

The symptoms to motion sickness occur when the brain receives conflicting signals from the three systems.  It is not known why some people are more affected by travel sickness than others.  Motion sickness is usually just a minor annoyance.  It does not signify any serious medical illness, but some people can be temporarily incapacitated by it.

                                              

                                              

                                              

Tips to prevent and minimize the symptoms of travel sickness.   Self-Care action plan for motion sickness from travel experts:

  • Do not eat large meals. Do not eat large meals and drink alcohol before or during travel.
  • Avoid drinks.  Avoid carbonated drinks as these are likely to upset your stomach more than water.
  • Do not read.  Focus on a stable view, such as the horizon.  Or fix your gaze on a distant object.
  • Open windows.  If the person affected by motion sickness is a child, elevated car seat that enables the child to look out of the front window will often help.  Open a window whenever possible to get some fresh air.
  • Avoid smoking area. Avoid areas where there are heavy odors or where people are smoking.
  • Breathe slow Breathe slowly and deeply through your mouth.
  • Choose and area.  Cooose an area with least motion.  Usually in the middle of the craft will have the least motion.
  • Allow yourself to vomit.  You can reduce nausea if you allow yourself to vomit.  But do not force force yourself to be sick.  Be sure to replace lost fluids with frequent small sip of cold water.

Over-the-counter-medicines

For minor discomfort, you can buy over-the-counter-medicines, which should usually be taken before travel.  Some people find that acupressure bands worn on the wrists are helpful in alleviating symptoms of motion sickness.  Ginger has been recommended as an alternative therapy for preventing motion symptoms.  Simple medication will normally be all that is needed to avoid motion sickness.

Resource:

     Anonymous, "When Motion Makes You Sick."  Family Today, Vol. 3 No. 16

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Jessie Agudo
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Jessie Agudo
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Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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