Brain and Motion Sickness
When the brain is not able to interpret information that was sent from the eyes, ears and body then motion sickness happens and it is usually due to being in a lot of motion or traveling such as in a car, buses, planes, train, boat, or even the ride in an amusement park and it normally goes away when the motion ends. Motion sickness can strike fast and makes a person feel queasy, sweat, clammy or stomach sick or even vomiting.
Is It Genetic?
Motion sickness is very common among elderly people, women and children between the ages of 2 to 12 but as estimated one out three people will experience motion sickness at one point of time in their life.
Motion sickness can be attributed to genetics but the condition is still able to affect anyone and everyone especially those with a family history, hormonal birth control, inner ear disorders, menstrual periods, migraines, parkinson’s, and pregnancy. The golden rule of motion sickness is “Once the motion stops, the motion sickness will stop.”
The motion sensing organs of the body consist of eyes, inner ear, muscles, and joints and they will frequently send signals to the brain and normally they will send the same information. But when the same sensing parts of the body sends conflicting information to the brain, it is not able to interpret whether the body is stationary or moving and this confused interpretation leads to motion sickness.
For example, when we are traveling in a car, what happens is our eyes will see movement of stationary objects along the road, the inner ear is able to sense movement while our muscles and joints senses that our body is still stationary because we are sitting still and our brain gets muddled as it is not able to make any sense of the differentiating messages from the sensing organs.
Motion sickness can be self-diagnosed and it has elements of surprise because you can be fine at one moment and suddenly you might experience fatigue, uneasiness, dizziness or malaise, vomiting, cold sweats, headache, irritability, difficulty concentrating, pale skin, rapid breathing or gulping for air, increased saliva, nausea and belching.
Motion sickness can be prevented or treated using oral or patch medications. You can take antihistamines that cause drowsiness to prevent motion sickness and ease symptoms. Apart from that you can use scopolamine skin patches or oral pills to prevent nausea and vomiting. Just stick the patch behind the ear at least four hours before traveling. You can change the patch every three days and it causes dry mouth and is suitable for adults only.
The following actions can ease the symptoms of motion sickness and reduce the chances of getting sick. You can either suck, make yourself a drink or breathe in peppermint, ginger, or lavender candies, tea or scents.
For those who experience motion sickness, adopting a diet of low-fat, bland and starchy foods and drinking plenty of water might help. Always avoid or minimize dairy, heavy meals or greasy, spicy and acidic foods that can upset the stomach. If possible do not drink alcohol or smoke before and during the trip.
If you still can't avoid traveling then direct the air vents to blow toward you and toll down the car windows for fresh air. Natural ventilation works for some people and feeling the fresh air might help to rejuvenate.
If you find yourself experiencing mild symptoms of motion sickness, then take a break from gazing at an object in the distance or at the horizon and avoid or minimize looking at the screen of the phone or tablet or book.
A study suggests that by reclining and closing your eyes you will feel comfortable and able to fight the motion sickness. When you lie somewhere, then make sure your body is flat and by closing your eyes, you are able to fight the symptoms of motion sickness also.
You can get relief from motion sickness with acupressure or wristbands on pressure points. They are effective, non-invasive, affordable, discreet and comfortable to prevent or relieve motion sickness.
Minimize Disruptive Motion
Where you are facing and where you are sitting during travel makes a difference in minimizing the disruptive motion that causes motion sickness. It is recommendable to sit in the middle or the upper deck when you are sailing in a boat.
Choose the best window seat in a bus because it is the safest for those who experience motion sickness and enjoy the view as a bonus. There is a reason why experts and authorities advise those who succumb to motion sickness to sit in the front passenger seat because it minimizes the disruptive motion.
When you are going on a cruise ship and sailing on a ship with cabins, then you should seek out ocean view or balcony cabins that are toward the front or middle of the ship on a lower deck which are nearer to the water to suffer less from the motion sickness.
When you sit over the wing nearest to the plane's centers around 1/4 down the aircraft, then you will have a more comfortable and smooth flight free from motion sickness. In a train, always sit forward facing the window seat and when you sit, then you will be facing the front of the train for maximum comfort and minimum disruptive motion.
Other Names for This Condition
Airsickness is a specific form of motion sickness and a type of incompatibility disorder causing cold sweats, nausea and vomiting during air travel and is considered a normal response in a healthy individual. It is felt intensely as a result of the motion of the aircraft, especially when the plane is shaking, often the tremors of the plane trigger the airsickness, a feeling of nausea and dizziness, sometimes accompanied by vomiting.
Seasickness is a form of terrestrial motion sickness as a result of a conflict in the inner ear, where the human balance mechanism resides causing a feeling of nausea, dizziness, sometimes accompanied by vomiting after spending time on a vessel's erratic motion.