- Sickness, motion
- Motion sickness is a very common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motion such as from the swell of the sea, the movement of a car, the motion of a plane in turbulent air, etc. In the inner ear (which is also called the labyrinth), motion sickness affects the sense of balance and equilibrium and, hence, the sense of spatial orientation. Motion sickness relates to our sense of balance and equilibrium. Researchers in space and aeronautical medicine call this sense spatial orientation, because it tells the brain where the body is "in space:" what direction it is pointing, what direction it is moving, and if it is turning or standing still. The symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness (vertigo). Other common signs are sweating and a general feeling of discomfort and not feeling well (malaise). These symptoms usually stop when the motion that causes it ceases. But this is not always true. There are people who suffer symptoms for even a few days after the trip is over. Antihistamines are often used to prevent and treat motion sickness. They are thought to do so by calming the stimulation of the inner ear. Examples of antihistamines used for this purpose include meclizine (Bonine, Antivert, Dramamine). They are most effective when started best well before the motion begins. Another class of medications (belladonna) used to prevent motion sickness is represented by the scopolamine skin patch (Transderm Scop) which is applied behind the ear 4 hours before the motion activity is to start.
Medical dictionary. 2011.