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Whether it came from a boat ride, airplane, amusement park ride, a car, a train or IMAX theater, the symptoms are the same and the cause is the same.
The cause of motion sickness (kinetosis) is stimulation of the vestibular apparatus located within the inner ear. When this apparatus is stimulated, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea - the most common symptoms of this condition - may develop. If the motion causing nausea is not resolved, the sufferer will frequently vomit. Usually, these signs stop when the vehicle stops moving.
Fortunately, infants seldom get motion sickness. Toddlers and preschool ages are most susceptible.
About 33% of people are susceptible to motion sickness even in mild circumstances such as being on a boat in calm water, although nearly 66% of people are susceptible in more severe conditions. Around 60% of all Space Shuttle astronauts currently experience space sickness on their first flight.
Whether it is from fear or dizziness, some cats and dogs invariably get sick when traveling in a car. Pets afflicted with motion sickness begin drooling, feel nauseated and may develop vomiting or diarrhea.
Motion sickness on the sea can result from being in the berth of a rolling boat without being able to see the horizon. Sudden jerky movements tend to be worse for provoking motion sickness than slower smooth ones, because they disrupt the fluid balance more. Cars driving rapidly around winding roads or up and down a series of hills will upset more people than cars that are moving over smooth, straight roads. Reading a book while a passenger in a car may also bring on kinetosis.
Motion sickness occurs when the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the body (including the inner ear, eyes and muscles) affecting balance and equilibrium. As a result of the disconcordance, the brain responds by inducing vomiting.
Airsickness is a sensation which is induced by air travel, and is considered a normal response in healthy individuals.
Seasickness is a form of motion sickness characterized by a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo experienced after spending time on a craft on water. It is typically brought on by the rocking motion of the craft or movement while immersed in water.
Carsickness, like all types of motion sickness, occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the inner ears, eyes, and other parts of the body that sense motion.
Carsickness has plagued parents since cars were invented. Children often get carsick if they have to travel far particularly on winding bumpy roads.
Simulation sickness, or simulator sickness, is a condition where a person exhibits symptoms similar to motion sickness caused by playing computer/simulation/video games.
Space sickness was effectively unknown during the earliest spaceflights, as these were undertaken in very cramped conditions. It seems to be aggravated by being able to freely move around, and so is more common in larger spacecraft.
Many illnesses (gastroenteritis, concussion, food poisoning, cardiac infarct, meningitis) and treatments or drugs (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, morphine etc.) can cause nausea and vomiting. Some are mild and will pass by themselves, but others are serious and need medical attention.
Interestingly, many pharmacological treatments which are effective for nausea and vomiting in some medical conditions may not be effective for motion sickness (Maxolon).
Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are available for motion sickness, as are some alternative-medicine remedies. Alternative medicines can be as potent as drugs.
One common suggestion is to simply look out of the window of the moving vehicle and to gaze toward the horizon in the direction of travel. This helps to re-orient the inner sense of balance by providing a visual reaffirmation of motion.
Fresh, cool air can also relieve motion sickness slightly (avoid foul odors).
Important to watch for early signs of motion sickness - prevention is best. Most drugs need to be taken before the trip starts.
OTC and prescription medications are readily available, such as Dramamine, Stugeron and Bonine/Antivert. Scopolamine is also effective. Sedating antihistamine medications such as Phenergan work quite well for motion sickness, although they can cause significant drowsiness.
A teaspoon of ground (powdered) ginger root has been proven to be as effective in preventing motion sickness as popular OTC chemicals, but without the drowsiness and sleepiness that is a common side reaction to Dramamine.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a herb and a spice that can be used for many uses. Its root is a key element in both Chinese and Ayuvedic traditional medicines for centuries. Some studies have shown that ginger, an old home remedy for gastrointestinal disturbances, helps to relieve nausea. It is a favourite herb used by herbal practitioners to warm cold hands and feet and to reduce inflammation in the joints.
It has anticoagulant (do not combine with aspirin or other prescribed blood thinners), diuretic, and carminative properties, making it a must-have in every home. Ginger can be used to help diarrhea, flu, headache, heart and menstrual problems, diabetes, and probably the most well-known, stomach upset and kinetosis.
Travelon capsule, a natural product containing ginger root-, thormentil root- and lemon balm powder is recommended for prophylaxis of the nausea and vomiting and for relief of nausea accompanying motion sickness in sensitive individuals.