- by Dr Sheetal Bhatia
- 0 Shares
- Dec 07 2017
WHAT IS MOTION SICKNESS?
Motion sickness or commonly known as car sickness, sea sickness or air sickness is a condition characterised by a general feeling of being unwell while travelling. It is not a disease but can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable, especially for those who travel a lot.
Motion sickness occurs due to the mixed signals sent to the brain by the eyes and the inner ear. One part of your balancing system senses that your body is moving but the other parts don’t, causing a conflict between the senses. For example, you can get motion sickness when travelling by car because your eyes inform your brain that you are moving at a fast speed but your vestibular system tells your brain that you are sitting still and there is no movement.
Pregnant women, children, people with migraine are more prone to developing motion sickness.
Motion sickness can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- General feeling of being ill
- Pale skin
- Cold sweat
- Increase in saliva
- Rapid and shallow breathing
Symptoms generally tend to improve once the body begins to adapt to the conditions causing the problem. For example, if you are feeling sick on a cruise; you tend to feel better after a couple of days. However for some people the body doesn’t adapt to the conditions and the symptoms continue to be present until they leave the environment that’s causing the sickness.
Motion sickness usually goes away on its own and you do not need medical attention. However, you should see a doctor if the symptoms still continue to persist post travelling. This will help rule out any viral infections.
Medications can be taken to prevent the nausea and vomiting. These are generally over the counter medicines and should be taken before you travel. Some patients respond well to biofeedback and relaxation techniques.
Other techniques that can help you manage and reduce the symptoms include:
- Get some fresh air if you are in a car or cruise
- Sip on clear and fizzy drinks such as ginger ale
- Try to look at a stable object.
- Closing your eyes will help relieve symptoms
- Relax by listening to music or carry out a mental activity such as counting backwards from 100
- Try to remain still and move your head as less as possible
- Don’t eat a heavy or spicy meal or consume alcohol before you travel
- Try to avoid strong odours
- If you are travelling by car, take the front seat and a seat near the wings if you are using the flight
- Don’t read or watch TV or videos
- When you travel by ship or boat, book a cabin near the middle of a ship and near the waterline
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