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Motion sickness and car sickness: characteristics and treatments

Motion sickness and car sickness: characteristics and treatments

The scientific term used to indicate the classic car sickness is "motion sickness". Few know it even though this problem affects many people who for various reasons cannot stand to travel by car. There are those who suffer from vertigo, those who feel nauseous and vomit, those with headaches. Let's find out the characteristics that may be unexpected, even if we are talking about one of the most common problems there is.

Motion sickness or car sickness: characteristics

This disorder is neurological and is related to a signal interpretation problem coming from the vestibular (inner ear), visual and proprioceptive systems. Discomfort usually occurs when our body experiences a series of repetitive or irregular body movements. The term motion sickness is associated with seasickness, car sickness or air sickness, in an airplane, because in fact these are the occasions in which we are most likely to feel the type of movements that trigger our discomfort.

Very often it happens that with the passage of time the body gets used to the movements it has to undergo while traveling and the symptoms become less acute, but this does not necessarily happen and in any case at first it feels really bad. It is not a serious health problem, because in fact the malaise passes at the end of the journey, but for those who love or have to travel a lot, it can be annoying and castrating.

Motion sickness or car sickness: symptoms

To better understand the impact that such a problem has on our lives, let's take a closer look at the symptoms, even secondary ones. The first feeling is quite obvious, that's it of nausea and discomfort, of discomfort in the upper abdomen but very often the problem does not stop there. At a later time we can also notice other unpleasant signals such as paleness, sweating, dizziness, profuse salivation, vomiting.

Each develops its own particular combination of symptoms, some for example also register headache, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness and fainting.

Motion sickness or car sickness: causes

When we feel bad on a journey, what happens is that different stimuli arrive and we are unable to combine them properly. In fact, there are usually three pathways in the nervous system that must interact and they are that of the signals coming from theinner ear which records movements and accelerations, those coming from the eye and those of the proprioceptors. If there is no due coordination between the stimuli that reach the brain, the latter struggles and triggers symptoms like those we have just described.

Motion sickness is often identified with car or plane and ship ache but this is not the case. With this term we want to indicate the disorder linked to an uneven motion of the body that we do not know how to manage so we can feel the same discomfort even if we are not traveling but for example we are in an elevator or on a carousel, and even when we are riding. Since they started to be successful i video game with virtual and augmented realityto and everything that sees it applied, even for example in amusement parks, there have been cases of motion sickness also for this reason because in fact our body is stimulated in a similar way and our vestibular system is "confused".

Motion sickness or car sickness: cures

This disorder can have different intensity from case to case, so the different types of treatment must also be calibrated. There are people who just put up with it and maybe use some natural trick to suffer less, and there are other people who have to use drugs instead.

When the symptoms are not too severe, for example, we can try to distract ourselves with music or staring at the horizon instead of the landscape that flows away. Medicines should only be used in extreme situations. In some cases it is better contact your doctor, if the malaise is strong and unexpected. It can be an option when you want to exclude other possible causes such as labyrinthitis, an infection of the inner ear.

Motion sickness and car sickness: prevention

When we get into the car or into a means of transport, we can already behave in such a way as to do everything possible not to feel unwell. We focus our gaze on a stable object and avoid reading or playing or focusing on something that is moving with us. Closing your eyes can also help. In general we try not to do too many movements with the head and with the body but assume a comfortable position and try to keep it.

A little fresh air doesn't hurt. Of course it is not always possible, on a plane for example, but in a car or train, lowering the window for a few minutes can give a feeling of relief. It seems obvious but it is good to reiterate it: we don't eat too much before traveling and avoid alcohol.

Travel sickness and places

Case by case let's find out where it is best to sit not to suffer. On a plane it is better to be in the front or near the wing, on a ship in a cabin in the front or central part of the ship, on a train it is better to be near the front and next to a window and even in a car it is better to sit next to the driver.


Video: What causes motion sickness? (July 2021).