About motion sickness

What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness is the feeling you get when the motion you sense with your inner ear is different from the motion you visualize. It is a common condition that occurs in some people who travel by car, train, airplane or boat. Many people suffer from this condition if they ride on a roller coaster or other similar amusement park rides. Motion sickness progresses from a feeling of uneasiness to sweating and/or dizziness. This is usually quickly followed by nausea and/or vomiting.



What are the symptoms for motion sickness?

Motion sickness can strike quickly and make you break out in a cold sweat and feel like you need to throw up. Other common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Increase in saliva production
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin

In addition, some people get headaches, feel very tired, or have shallow breathing.



What are the causes for motion sickness?

You get motion sickness when there are conflicts among your senses. Say you’re on a ride at the fair, and it’s spinning you around and upside down. Your eyes see one thing, your muscles feel another, and your inner ears sense something else.

Your brain can’t take in all those mixed signals. That’s why you end up feeling dizzy and sick.



What are the treatments for motion sickness?

Treatment for motion sickness can consist of medical treatment, simple changes in the environment (for example, sitting by the open window of a car), over-the-counter (OTC) medications and for some people, home remedies may be effective. In addition, some patients respond well to biofeedback training and relaxation techniques.



What are the risk factors for motion sickness?

Anybody can get motion sickness, but it’s most common in children and pregnant women. Unlike a cold, you can’t spread it to other people. It’s not contagious.



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