Motion sickness is not a disease. It is a normal response of your body to real and perceived movement. When we are on a moving vehicle like boat, train, airplane or even amusement park rides, some of use experience motion sickness especially when it is not the first time to experience riding it. This condition is very common that some people easily overcome this. It only becomes incapacitating when you are a pilot, astronaut, ship crew member, flight attendant or with any other occupation that requires frequent constant movement.
The most common symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, cold sweats, skin paleness, headache, fatigue, increased salivation and dizziness which can progress to vomiting. Fortunately, most of these symptoms disappear once the vehicle stops moving or when journey is over.
Again, motion sickness is a normal reaction of the body to movement. It occurs when the inner ear, the eyes and the body send conflicting messages or signals to the brain. For example, when you are inside a ship’s cabin, your eyes tell your brain that the ship is not moving because nothing inside the cabin moves; however, your ears send signals to your brain telling that the ship is actually moving because you can perceive rolling motions, which your eyes can’t see. Because of this, your brain gets confused and motion sickness is provoked. Once you have adapted to the movement, symptoms begin to disappear.
Other people experience motion sickness even when there is no movement and they are just anticipating it. For example, if you had already experienced motion sickness in your previous trip, thinking about your next flight may cause you to become nauseous.
Preventive Measures and Treatment
If motion sickness always ruins your trip, you should take the following measures to help avoid the discomfort that are caused by this condition.
Always use head rests like pillows to minimize head movements.
Make sure that there is proper ventilation. Foul odors can also cause nausea and can aggravate the condition.
It’s all in your head. Do not think about motion sickness. The more you think about it, the more your condition worsens.
Avoid reading. It can worsen symptoms as well.
Sit toward the front of the vehicle. Do not face the back end of the vehicle.
Look outside. To let your brain know that you are really moving, your eyes should perceive the movement.
The immediate treatment for motion sickness is medications. However, if you always travel and motion sickness bothers you on a regular basis, it is best that you learn to control these symptoms. You can achieve this through mind-body practices like biofeedback and cognitive-behavioral therapy. You can also try alternatives such as acupuncture, dietary changes, homeopathy and regular physical exercise.
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