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Motion Sickness: Everything You Need to Know

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

What is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is feeling sick when travelling by car, train, plane or boat. In some cases, it can also be experienced by people seeing motion on screen, or while using a VR headset.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Symptoms of motion sickness can appear quickly, and can include: 

  • Cold sweat
  • Pallor (pale skin)
  • Dizziness
  • Increased salivation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate

Causes of Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is caused by a mismatch between the motion that a person feels and the motion that the person sees. This can occur when the inner ear, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation, receives conflicting signals from the eyes and other parts of the body.

Some of the common causes of motion sickness include:

  • Traveling in a car, boat, train, or airplane
  • Riding on a roller coaster or other amusement park rides
  • Playing virtual reality games
  • Reading in a moving vehicle
  • Watching a video or movie on a small screen while traveling
  • Certain medical conditions or medications that can affect balance
  • Being in a confined or poorly ventilated space

How to Prevent and Treat Motion Sickness

Most people that suffer from motion sickness are aware that the problem may arise, but there are several things you can do to help prevent the sensation, as well as ways to treat it.

Things you can do to prevent motion sickness: 

  • Try to reduce the amount of motion by sitting in the front of the car, or in the middle of the boat
  • Avoid triggers like reading, or looking at screens while moving
  • Get plenty of fresh air
  • Focusing on the horizon will keep your inner ear balanced with the motion you’re experiencing
  • Consume ginger in any form (tea, sweets, tablets or biscuits) before travelling

Medications available for motion sickness:

  • Antihistamines such as cyclizine
  • Scopolamine patches
  • Acupuncture bands

It’s important to note that these antihistamines and patches can cause drowsiness and sleepiness, so you should not be in control of a vehicle, heavy machinery or anything else that could put you or those around you in danger until you know how they affect you.

Feel Better with Healthera

If you’ve tried preventing your motion sickness by following our tips above, and still feel you need some extra help, then use Healthera to find something that works for you.

Simply click the button below to get started:

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