Motion sickness

Motion sickness generally includes nausea along with other undesirable symptoms during actual or perceived motion. It is likely to occur during boat travel, but any form of travel or movement can trigger motion sickness.

What are the causes?

The root cause of motion sickness is considered complex and not fully understood, but it is believed to manifest due to disruptions in the sensory input to the brain.

The brain perceives motion via various signaling trails from the inner ear, eyes, and deep tissues in the body. Once the body shifts involuntarily such as while riding a vehicle, there might be a divergence among these various forms of sensory input to the brain. Take note that the sensory device in the inner ear is vital in the manifestation of motion sickness.

Motion sickness

Generally, the symptoms settle once the motion stops but some might have symptoms for a few days after an episode of motion sickness.

Those who are usually affected include:

  • Women
  • Children, with the peak incidence at 12 years of age
  • Those suffering from migraine headaches or ailments that disrupt with sensory feedback such as labyrinthitis

What are the signs?

The usual characteristics of motion sickness include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Increased salivation
  • Sweating
  • Generalized of discomfort and malaise

The seriousness of motion sickness tends to vary for every individual. Generally, the symptoms settle once the motion stops but some might have symptoms for a few days after an episode of motion sickness.

Management of motion sickness

It is recommended to keep the eyes fixed on the horizon or land while on a boat or ship to lessen motion sickness. If travelling by car, those who are prone to motion sickness must be in the front seat and look out the window rather than looking at a map, book or computer.

As an alternative approach, taking ginger in 1-2 grams orally can help prevent motion sickness.

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