|Drug Free Relief for Motion Sickness|
Motion sickness is dizziness, nausea and
possibly vomiting that occurs when traveling in a moving vehicle such as a
car, boat, or airplane. Each
form of transportation seems to have its own specific term (car sickness,
sea sickness, altitude sickness) but all refer to the same problem. The term “motion sickness” will be used throughout this
material to refer to all of these forms of sickness.
The specific terms will be used only when the material is unique to
that form of sickness.
Motion sickness is usually just a minor
annoyance and does not signify any serious medical illness.
Symptoms are often
treatable and, even when not treated,
the symptoms go away shortly after the motion stops. However, severe cases and those that become progressively
worse deserve the attention of a physician with specialized skills in
diseases of the ear, nose, throat, equilibrium, and neurological systems.
Motion sickness produces a whole range of symptoms, of
which nausea and vomiting are the most severe. Symptoms generally follow a
path of increasing severity. Abrupt
vomiting without early warning or the presence of other symptoms is rare,
usually only occurring in space flight and other zero-G situations.
Early indications of motion sickness onset may include:
As symptoms build, the following may occur:
As symptoms build, the following may occur:
It is not known why some people develop motion sickness
and others do not.
While most everyone experiences motion sickness at one time or
another, statistics have been able to show who is more likely to
experience motion sickness. Remember,
falling into one of these categories does not guarantee that you will
experience motion sickness. You
may be an exception. However,
knowing your risk factor may help you to be prepared with remedies “just
more susceptible to experience motion sickness are:
passengers (those in control experience less motion
adults under the age of 50 (Adults over the age of 50
rarely suffer from motion sickness)
people of Asian ancestry
anyone fearful and anxious during a trip
those prone to experiencing nausea or vomiting
those prone to experiencing migraine headaches
are more susceptible (not guaranteed) to experience motion sickness if you
an inner ear disturbance, especially a recent one
an unusually good vestibular (inner ear) function
a rare, central nervous system disorder of the part of the
brain that processes signals from the inner ear
eaten fatty, spicy or greasy foods
consumed citric juices
medical conditions or medications may cause nausea and vomiting.
Experiencing motion sickness may worsen the nausea and vomiting
already associated with the condition/medication.
inner ear infections
gall bladder disease
are far more prone to motion sickness than those at the controls. There
are at least two separate reasons for this.
Motion sickness is triggered by discrepancies between
anticipated orientation and actual orientation. If you're at the controls
of the airplane (or boat or car), you tend to know what's coming and this
seems to confer a certain amount of immunity.
Being in control of how long the flight or trip will last
and having the ability to end it at will is an important factor in
relieving the anxiety that contributes to motion sickness.
you fall into several categories listed above, remember, motion
sickness is a condition that may become more tolerable with time and
exposure. A study of military pilot trainees showed that roughly 17
percent experience motion sickness serious enough to interfere with
aircraft control, but only about 1 percent actually wash out due to
airsickness. The rest simply learn to deal with the sensory conflicts. The
same is true of aerobatic pilots. Almost
everyone experiences symptoms of motion sickness on first exposure to
high-G maneuvers, but those who stick with it tend to develop more
tolerance over time.
Motion sickness is a conflict between your senses.
The brain relies on messages from your inner ear, muscles, and eyes
to tell it how your body is moving. When any of these systems send
different messages, you can get queasy.
Some examples include:
If you're reading in
the car, your inner ear knows you're moving, but your muscles think that
you are sitting still and your eyes don't see anything moving because
they're looking at the page.
On an airplane or in
the cabin of a boat or ship, your inner ear senses the motion, but your
eyes only see the cabin, which looks stationary.
body may sense rolling motions that you cannot see from inside a cabin.
Conversely, during a "virtual reality" simulation, your
eyes perceive movement that your body (inner ear and muscles) does not
These conflicting signals end up at the nausea center of the brain
and motion sickness is the result.
sickness can be understood in more technical terms. Our brains and body rely on the vestibular
apparatus, the three semicircular canals of the inner ear, to maintain our
balance. Each canal detects
our position within a certain plane of space, also known as our spatial
orientation. This allows us
to move around in a three-dimensional world while remaining balanced.
of the three canals is responsible for detecting a particular plane of
space (up/down, left/right, front/back).
Within each of these canals are small calcium deposits that are
called otoliths (ear stones). Anytime we move out of a particular plane of
space these little stones move and nerve transmissions send signals to our
brain. In most situations of
movement, this is not a problem for the brain to handle. However, in some
situations in which movement is chaotic (like in a boat, car or airplane)
the brain may misinterpret the nerve transmissions. For some this
may eventually cause queasiness, nausea and possibly vomiting.
noted earlier, our sense of sight can contribute to our brain’s
confusion about our position and movement.
Some smells can also contribute to the onset of nausea and
vomiting, so it’s best to avoid nauseating odors.
Several Days or Weeks ahead of time
24 hours ahead of time
Up to a few hours ahead of time
If you Feel Nauseated
Prevention for Specific Types of Travel
ON THE ROAD
IN THE AIR