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Motion sickness: What is it and how to prevent it

Motion sickness is a common condition that can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and other unpleasant symptoms when traveling. It is caused by a conflict between the signals sent to the brain from the inner ear, eyes, and muscles.

What causes motion sickness? Your inner ear contains a fluid-filled system that helps you maintain your balance and sense of motion. When you move, the fluid in your inner ear shifts, sending signals to your brain about your movement. Your eyes also send signals to your brain about your movement.

If your inner ear and eyes are sending different signals to your brain, it can lead to motion sickness. This can happen when you are reading in a moving vehicle, looking at a stationary object while on a boat, or riding in a car with rough suspension.

Symptoms of motion sickness: The most common symptoms of motion sickness are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Increased salivation

How to prevent motion sickness: There are a number of things you can do to prevent motion sickness, including:

  • Sit in the front seat of a car or bus, or in the middle of a boat.
  • Choose a window seat on airplanes and trains.
  • Look out at the horizon as much as possible.
  • Avoid reading or using electronic devices while traveling.
  • Get fresh air by opening a window or sitting on the deck of a boat.
  • Eat small, bland meals before and during travel.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you and make motion sickness worse.

Treatment for motion sickness:

If you do experience motion sickness, there are a number of over-the-counter medications that can help, such as Dramamine and Bonine. You can also try using ginger candy or capsules, which have been shown to be effective in preventing and treating motion sickness.

If you have severe motion sickness that does not respond to over-the-counter medications, you may need to see a doctor for prescription medication.

Motion sickness is a common condition that can be prevented and treated with a few simple tips. If you experience motion sickness, there are a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help.

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