CAUSES – Motion is sensed by the brain through the nervous system that send signals coming from the inner ear and the eyes. Motion sickness is a very common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motion. In addition to sea travel, motion sickness can develop from the movement of a car or from turbulence in an airplane. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and a sense of feeling unwell are the most common symptoms.
TREATMENT – There a number of different classes of medications that have been effective in treating motion sickness. Scopolamine is the most well-known medication for motion sickness. It is most commonly administered as a time-released skin patch that is applied to the skin. Remember that scopolamine can cause drowsiness and has other side effects, and its use should be discussed with your physician prior to your trip.
PREVENTION – It may be impossible to prevent all cases of motion sickness. Listed below are a few tips can help you to lessen the severity of motion sickness:
- Watch your consumption of foods, drinks, and alcohol before and during travel. Heavy, spicy, or fat-rich foods may worsen motion sickness in some people.
- Avoid strong food odors that may cause nausea.
- Try to choose a seat where you will experience the least motion; middle of an airplane, lower level cabins near the center of a ship, in the front seat of a car if possible.
- Do not sit facing backwards from your direction of travel.
- When traveling by car or boat, it can sometimes help to keep your focus on the horizon or on a fixed point.
- Open a vent or source of fresh air if possible.
Your doctor may prescribe medications for longer trips or if you repeatedly develop severe motion sickness.