A common hindrance for traveling is motion sickness or kinetosis. It is an unpleasant condition characterized by dizziness, nausea and vomiting that some people experience while traveling by airplane, boat, train, or even cars.

According to emedicinehealth.com, most experts believe that motion sickness is caused by conflicts in sensory input to the brain. Movement is sensed by the brain through signals sent by the inner ear, eyes, and proprioceptors or deeper tissues of the body. At times when there are involuntary movements as experienced while in a vehicle or during movement in two different directions (up and down like a boat in rough waters), our inner ear senses the motion but our eyes or deeper tissues can not tell the movement or its direction. This causes the conflicting signals.

Battling the Waves of Motion Sickness
Image: bigjom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The symptoms of kinetosis include: malaise or general feeling of discomfort, sweating, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Some people have severe attacks that the symptoms or conditions would last up to a few days while others feel better after the motion stops. Severity of the attack may vary for each individual and for each occurrence.

Motion sickness may be eased or reduced by simply sitting at the front seat or at the window seat of the vehicle and looking into the horizon. For those who regularly experience motion sickness, medications may be taken before traveling. Common medications include: Antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine, cyclizine, cyclizine HCL, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine, meclizine.

Make sure that you are not traveling alone when taking medications, side effects may include drowsiness, significant sedation, blurred vision and confusion, dry mouth and urinary retention for the elderly.

Motion sickness usually resolves on its own and has no long term complications. However, a person who has severe and worsening motion sickness with prolonged vomiting should be immediately referred to a medical practitioner.

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