Motion sickness is for some the only thing that can ruin a long-planned holiday. This condition is known by the medical term of kinetosis, and it is very common. It happens to the some people during car, airplane, train or ship travels. It can also happen on a ride in amusement park.
This condition is not serious and it goes away after the ride is over. However, people who travel often because of their job or other reasons, can become very frustrated because of it. Motion sickness is characterized by the general feeling of queasiness, cold sweats, nausea and vomiting, increased salivation, pale skin, dizziness, headache and fatigue.
Causes of motion sickness
Different parts of human body all participate together in sending signals to the brain about the exact state and position of the body. Inner ear detects the movement, eyes detect the direction of the movement, the skin receptors send the information about which parts of the body touch the ground and muscles and joint receptors inform the brain about their specific movement. All of them act together to convey to the brain the information about movement.
Simply put, when those signals get confused, the brain does not get the full information and motion sickness occurs. If a person is riding on the bus or in a car and reading a book at the same time, because the inner ear and the skin receptors inform the brain about the movement. However, the muscles and joints are still, and the eyes are fixed on a stationary object, the book. The eyes tell the brain that there is no movement, and the brain gets confused because of the contradictory signals.
Prevention and or motion sickness
One of the best tricks to avoid motion sickness is to sit in front, at a seat facing the front window or windshield. Facing backwards or looking through a side window can aggravate the symptoms.
In an airplane, the best seats for those who suffer from motion sickness are those next to the front edge of the wing, because that area of the plane has the least movement. In a car, it is recommended to sit at the passenger’s seat and on a ship the best place is at the middle of the upper deck.
Avoiding overeating and spicy and greasy food is highly recommended. Smoking should be avoided as it can aggravate the symptoms. Strong scents and foods with distinct flavor can trigger the nausea and vomiting. Taking small walks, if possible, and a deep breath of fresh air can help a lot in case of motions sickness. Smelling crushed lemon leaves helps too.
There are medications that are designed to prevent motion sickness. They work bets if taken one or more hours before the trip, and every few hours during the trip, but this depends on the brand and the type of medication. Scopolamine patches are an option for those who travel by plane. Carbonated drinks and sodas can also help against nausea.