Motion Sickness Treatment Specialist Q&A
Get treatment today for motion sickness. Call our team of healthcare professionals at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations to serve you in Tibbetts St. Portland OR, Washington St. Portland OR, Happy Valley OR, Division St Portland OR, and Tigard OR.
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Motion sickness is the condition that a person starts to feel as the result of certain types of motion. In most cases, it is due to real motion, such as sitting in a moving car, train, airplane, or boat, but it can also happen as a result of a perceived sense of motion, like using a virtual reality simulator or watching an action-packed movie on a large screen. Motion sickness can start at any point that the body is in motion, with certain things making it worse, such as looking at a phone or reading a book, while the body is in motion.
For some people, and in some situations, the motion sickness may only last a few minutes. In other cases, the motion sickness can last for several hours, even after the motion that caused the sickness symptoms has stopped. The duration of motion sickness will vary from one person to the next, based on how susceptible they are to experience the condition and the intensity of the motion that triggered the symptoms.
When it comes to motion sickness, prevention of symptoms is typically easier than trying to relieve symptoms after they have appeared. Motion while traveling is pretty much impossible to avoid, and so finding tricks to help prevent the onslaught of motion sickness will go a long way to providing sufferers with relief. This can include sitting in the front seat of a car, being in the lowest level of a train or boat, sitting near the wing of an airplane, and focusing on a spot in the distance. If symptoms are severe or still happen despite making behavioral changes, sufferers may need to work with their family doctor or primary care physician on finding a medication that can help to relieve symptoms and prevent motion sickness from happening.
Options that can work include over-the-counter antihistamines or prescription anticholinergic medications. Each of these types of medications carries their own risks and potential side effects and patients will need to weigh out the risks and benefits with their doctor to find the best solution for them.
Motion sickness occurs when the body senses inconsistencies within the signals it is receiving from various systems. The conflict will occur in the nervous system, usually when one system senses or sees motion but another system is fixed. This is why motion sickness can happen while reading a book in a car – the vestibular system, located in the inner ear, senses that the body is in motion, while the eyes that are reading the book tell the brain that the book isn’t moving.
However, people who are experiencing motion sickness when not in motion may have a problem in their inner ear that is causing confusion with the signals in the nervous system. This may be the result of an undiagnosed ear infection, or it could be a sign of fluid buildup in the ear. People with Parkinson’s disease can also experience motion sickness while not in motion as a side effect of the illness.
Motion sickness is a physiological response to the mixed signals that the nervous system is receiving. It can be debated if it is psychological or not, however, because it is a physical reaction to signals that are being received by the nervous system, the classification of it as a psychological condition doesn’t apply. Psychological conditions affect a person’s mental or emotional state, which does not hold true for motion sickness.
Motion sickness can be more common in children ages 2-15, females, and people with conditions that experience nausea, such as vertigo, migraines, or pregnancy. If you experience severe symptoms of motion sickness or have tried prevention methods without any relief, it is worth getting checked over by a doctor. Columbia Clinic Urgent Care provides care to patients of all ages for a wide variety of conditions on a walk-in basis. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.