Almost everyone has experienced at least one form of motion sickness. Boat, plane, car, train – motion sickness can happen on any of these. The symptoms range from mild nausea and dizziness to vomiting and cold sweats.
Motion sickness is thought to be primarily caused by conflicting neural signals. Your inner ear helps your body detect movement. When you are in motion, your inner ear sends signals to your brain to let it know that you are in motion. But your eyes may be telling your brain a different story. For example, if you are below deck on a ship, you might not be able to see the waves that are rocking your boat. Your eyes tell your brain that you’re not moving, but your inner ear says the opposite. This disconnect causes motion sickness.
Recent studies on motion sickness reveal that it may be more complex than previously thought. The fact that blind people can experience motion sickness suggests that while motion sickness may have a visual component in many circumstances, the most important aspect may be the motion itself.
The bottom line is this: motion sickness can occur in a number of different ways. More important than what causes it, however, is how to prevent it and treat it.
Preventing Motion Sickness
Treating Motion Sickness
The best treatment for motion sickness? Stop moving. If that isn’t an option, try these:
- Get some air. This could mean opening a window, directing a fan to your face (or an air vent on an airplane) or giving yourself some distance from others if possible.
- Focus on a distant object. Looking down and reading are some of the worst things you can do.
- Try to keep your head as still as possible. Even better if you have a seat back to rest it on. Keeping your head still will help stabilize your inner ear.
- Try to think about something other than motion, vomiting etc. Thinking about the motion and your nausea can amplify it. Try distracting yourself with thoughts of something else.
- Tell the driver to stop. Ok, so you might not be in a form of transportation where you can stop the driver, but if you are, don’t be afraid to tell the driver to stop. There’s no need to be a hero. Stop the car. Get some air. Feel better.
Do you get motion sickness? Do you have any special remedies that work for you? Let us know in the comments.
Photo credit: lethaargic