Simple remedies for motion sickness
Motion sickness occurs when the conflicting signals to the brain are achieved by the body, the inner ear (a tiny structure involved in hearing and balance), and the eyes send.
A moving vehicle such as a car, boat, airplane, or space shuttle generally provokes this reaction, but it may also happen on flight simulators or amusement park rides. The inner ear may sense rolling motions that the eyes cannot perceive from inside a ship's cabin, and, conversely, the eyes may perceive movement on a "virtual reality" simulation ride that the body does not feel. Interestingly, once a person adapts to the movement and the motion stops, the symptoms may recur and cause the person to adjust all over again (although, this reaction is generally brief).
In addition, even anticipating movement can cause anxiety and symptoms of motion sickness. For example, a person with a previous experience of motion sickness may become nauseous on an airplane before take-off. While medications may be an acceptable treatment for travelers who occasionally experience motion sickness, the goal for individuals who experience motion sickness on a regular basis or whose work is affected by their symptoms is to learn to controland eventually preventthese symptoms.
This may be accomplished with mind/body practices, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and biofeedback. Other alternatives to medication include homeopathy, acupuncture, ginger (Zingiber officinale), dietary adjustments, and physical therapy. The pilots, astronauts, ship crewmembers, and individuals in any other occupation should avoid medications where heavy equipment is operated.
Cyclizine is one of the most effective when taken at least 30 minutes before travel; not recommended for children younger than six. Scopolamine is the most commonly prescribed medication for motion sickness; must be taken before the onset of symptoms; available in patch form that is placed behind the ear 6 to 8 hours before travel; effects last up to 3 days; side effects may include dry mouth, drowsiness, blurred vision, and disorientation.
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