Serving Patients in Southern Maryland
Causes of Motion Sickness & Tips to Prevent It
During the summertime our schedules fill up with road trips, amusement parks, beaching, and boating. But if you frequently experience motion sickness during these usual summer activities, you probably aren’t going to be jumping to participate.
The eyes, inner ears (which contain fluid that sloshes around in reaction to movement), skin and muscles send sensory information to your brain which determines the body’s position and what direction you’re moving. Motion sickness, a common occurrence for many people, is caused when there is a sensory conflict or contradictory messages being sent between what you’re seeing, and what your balance system and your body’s orientation or position are telling you. The resulting symptoms include sweating, light-headedness, hyperventilation, nausea and vomiting.
For example, if you’re on a plane, your inner ear (where your balance system is located) is telling you that you’re moving, meanwhile your eyes are telling you that are in a stationary environment. This type of motion sickness is similar to that which passengers experience on cruise ships when they’re below deck and cannot see out of portholes.
Moviegoers and video gamers can often experience motion sickness as well because their eyes are sensing motion but their balance system is not. Many simulator rides at amusement parks also trigger similar motion sickness.
Also, when your senses are moving in multiple directions at once, such as riding in a car and reading, you’re bound to experience motion sickness.
But don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips for beating it so you can enjoy your fun in the sun!
- Pick the right seat. If possible, pick a seat where motion is least likely to be felt. Try to avoid standing to prevent being tossed around during the trip.
- Face the direction you’re traveling. Choose a seat facing forward so the motion your body feels matches what you see.
- Minimize head movement. Sudden head movement can aggravate motion sickness.
- Focus on a point in the distance. Look off into the distance at a fixed point or the horizon to allow your eyes to see that you’re moving to match the movement your body feels.
- Volunteer to drive. Drivers are busy watching the road and are therefore less likely to get motion sick.
- Get some air. Open a vent or roll down a window to get some fresh air.
For more information about motion sickness, dizziness, vertigo and/or balance issues or to schedule an appointment contact Hearing Professionals at one of our four convenient locations.