Motion sickness - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Motion sickness is an uncomfortable condition experienced by a person when traveling by vehicle, such as a car, bus, train, ship, or airplane. Motion sickness is more common in children aged 5-12 years, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Symptoms of Motion sickness

Motion sickness is not a dangerous condition, but it can cause nausea and vomiting. In addition, motion sickness can also make sufferers experience dizziness, pale face, increased saliva production, abdominal discomfort, weakness, cold sweats, and loss of balance.

Causes of Motion sickness

Motion sickness occurs due to the inability of the brain to properly receive a mixture of signals from several parts of the body. During a trip, the eye can see in a different direction than the muscles and joints perceive it. In addition, the inner ear, which is filled with fluid to regulate body balance, will feel a shock when the vehicle is moving. These three signals will be sent to the brain, but the brain is not able to process the different signals properly. This makes the brain work into chaos and motion sickness complaints arise.

The following factors can increase the risk of motion sickness:

  • Play gadgets or reading a book in the vehicle.
  • Lack of rest.
  • Hormonal changes due to certain conditions, such as menstruating, pregnant, or using birth control pills.
  • Suffering from balance disorders, such as migraines.
  • Have a history of motion sickness.

Travel Sickness Treatment

Motion sickness is not a serious condition, and can be treated with motion sickness medication. Consumption of this drug can be done before symptoms appear or when symptoms appear, but the most recommended time is 1-2 hours before traveling. Antihistamines, such as dimenhydrinate, is an example of motion sickness medication that can be purchased without a doctor's prescription.

Some examples of anti-hangover drugs that require a doctor's prescription are:

  • Domperidone
  • Metoclopramide
  • Ondansetron.

Although effective, anti-hangover drugs can cause side effects in the form of drowsiness. Therefore, this drug should not be consumed by people who are driving a vehicle.

Motion sickness prevention

Here are some tips for preventing motion sickness:

  • Avoid eating heavy meals before the trip. Choose a snack.
  • Choose a sitting position that makes your eyes free to look straight at the road, or a sitting position that has minimal shocks. For example, sitting next to the driver if traveling by car, or sitting in a wing-side seat if you are flying in an airplane, and taking up a position on the deck when boarding a ship.
  • If you take a train or a ship, stay away from places that often emit a characteristic odor, such as cafeterias or engine rooms. This is to prevent the sense of smell from constantly working in sniffing out odors, which can trigger hangover symptoms.
  • Get enough rest before starting to travel.
  • When you feel unwell, dizzy, or nauseous, try to lie down immediately and close your eyes until the symptoms you feel subside.
  • If you feel thirsty in the middle of the trip, consume water or fresh drinks, such as orange juice. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid reading books or staring at screens gadgets while the vehicle is moving.