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Symptoms, Causes, and How to Overcome It

Motion sickness is a common condition that occurs when a person travels by vehicle either by land, water or air. This condition is more common in children, but adults can also experience it. Check out a full explanation of the symptoms, causes, and treatment in the following review.

Motion Sickness: Symptoms, Causes, and How to Overcome It

What is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness or motion sickness is a common disorder that affects the inner ear. This condition is caused by repetitive motions from vehicles that irritate the inner ear.

You may also know this term as seasickness, car sickness, and airsickness. All three are basically the same type of disorder.

Besides happening on the go, the same sensation can also occur when you ride a ride at an amusement park or watch a 3D movie.

This condition is generally not serious, but can be annoying during travel, especially for those of you who travel a lot. This condition is more commonly experienced by children, but it is not impossible for someone to experience it into adulthood.

Travel Sickness Symptoms

Symptoms that appear in each person can vary. Here are some of the symptoms that may appear, ranging from the most common to serious symptoms:

  • Headache.
  • Evaporate.
  • Mild restlessness.
  • Sweating.
  • Uncomfortable feeling.
  • Unwell sensation.
  • Nauseous.
  • Vomit.
  • Pale face.
  • Short breath.
  • Sleepy.

Causes of Motion Sickness

The cause of this condition is thought to be due to a conflict between the inputs that enter the brain. The brain senses motion from different nervous system pathways including the inner ear, eyes, and body surface tissues.

When the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from sensory systems ranging from the inner ear, eyes, skin pressure receptors, and sensory receptors to muscles and joints, symptoms of this condition can appear.

For example, when a person sits on a vehicle without looking out the window, the inner ear can feel movements up and down or left and right, but his vision is static as if his body is not moving.

This condition then causes conflict between inputs that enter the brain, triggering motion sickness symptoms.

Risk Factors

Any type of travel whether on land, air or water can cause symptoms motion sickness. This condition can also appear when you ride rides in amusement parks.

Several factors increase a person’s risk of experiencing motion sickness, such as:

  • Age 2 to 12 years.
  • Pregnant women, because pregnant women have a higher risk of experiencing inner ear disorders.

Travel Sickness Diagnosis

Motion sickness usually doesn’t require a professional diagnosis. Some cases are recognized because indeed the symptoms only appear while traveling or when carrying out certain specific activities.

Most cases are also mild and can be treated on their own. If the case is severe and worsening, you may need to consult a specialist in ear or nervous system diseases.

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and when they appeared to help diagnose your condition. Usually no laboratory tests are needed to help diagnose this condition.

How to Overcome Motion Sickness

This condition will generally heal by itself after the trip is over. However, there are also cases where the symptoms of this condition persist for several days after the trip.

Here are some ways to deal with motion sickness that you can try, including:

1. Looking Out the Window

One of the most common ways to cope motion sickness is to look out the window. This method can restore balance by providing visual affirmation of movement.

However, this method does not work for everyone, there are also those who experience worsening symptoms.

2. Chewing

Chewing can also be one way to relieve the symptoms of this condition. Generally chewing gum is recommended, because gum can be chewed for a long time and without filling you up.

3. Breathe Fresh Air

Breathing fresh air is also often seen as a solution. This is attributed to the fact that bad smells can exacerbate motion sickness symptoms. Some people also try inhaling aromatherapy to treat this condition.

4. Sleep

Another solution to overcome motion sickness is by sleeping during the trip. This method can prevent eye and inner ear input conflicts.

5. Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional treatment by applying pressure to the same points as acupuncture. The difference is that acupressure relies on hand pressure, whereas acupuncture uses needles.

Motion Sickness Prevention

Here are some ways to avoid motion sickness that you can try, including:

  • Sit in a position where the eye can see movement felt by the body and inner ear, such as sitting by a window.
  • If you often experience this condition, avoid reading books or looking at cellphone screens while traveling.
  • Avoid sitting facing the back.
  • Avoid strong odors, spicy foods, and oily foods before travel.
  • Take drugs that are usually taken before starting a trip such as scopolamine, promethazine, cyclizine, dimenhydrinate, or meclizine. Generally these drugs have a drowsy effect that makes you sleep during the trip. Buy motion sickness medicine here.

Now, that’s information about motion sickness that you need to know. If the symptoms you are experiencing interfere with your activities and do not improve, you should immediately consult a doctor. Hopefully this information is useful, Healthy Friends.

  1. Heitz, David. 2016. Motion Sickness. (Accessed 8 January 2020).
  2. Kraft, Sy. 2017. What’s to know about motion sickness?. (Accessed 8 January 2020).

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