Motion Sickness Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
What Is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness, also commonly referred to as travel sickness, car sickness, or sea sickness, is a type of balance disorder which results from a disturbance in the inner ear due to unnatural accelerated or repetitive motion (i.e. the swell of the sea or motion of a rollercoaster). It can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headache, sweating, pale skin, and drowsiness.
Fortunately, motion sickness symptoms typically improve as your body adapts to your surroundings or when the activity is stopped. However, if the activity or environment is one that you find yourself in routinely, motion sickness can become a persistent concern that requires medical treatment. Of particular importance, if motion sickness does not cease when the activity is stopped, or the environment is changed, your symptoms could indicate a more serious balance disorder is at play and require a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Santa Monica who specializes in motion sickness treatment and the treatment of other balance disorders, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
What Causes Motion Sickness?
The vestibular system is a collection of inner ear structures responsible for providing you with your sense of balance and spatial orientation. When motion sickness occurs, the vestibular system sends messages to the brain which directly contradict information sent by the eyes and/or the body. This conflict between your senses leads to disorientation, as your brain attempts to decipher the different signals, leading to motion sickness symptoms.
Women—particularly those who are pregnant—and children between the ages of 5 and 12 have the highest rates of motion sickness; however, motion sickness can impact both men and women at any age. In fact, almost anyone can experience motion sickness given enough conflicting stimuli.
How Is Motion Sickness Treated?
To diagnose motion sickness, your healthcare practitioner will review your symptoms and the triggers which instigate them. Typically, no laboratory tests are required unless your practitioner suspects another issue is at play. Your motion sickness treatment plan may consist of a combination of home remedies, over-the-counter medications, and medical treatments. These remedies and treatments include:
- Acupressure bands or acupuncture
- Herbs such as ginger and peppermint
- Anticholinergics (medications which block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine), particularly scopolamine—a motion sickness patch applied to the skin several hours before travel
- Antihistamines, particularly Dramamine—a motion sickness medication which helps prevent nausea, vomiting, and dizziness
- Antiemetics (anti-nausea medications)
Motion sickness medicine is most effective when taken before embarking on travel that instigates your symptoms. Certain medications may require a prescription from your healthcare practitioner.
Can Motion Sickness Be Prevented?
In addition to the treatment options outlined in the section above, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing motion sickness. Consider the following motion sickness tips before your next trip:
- Sit in the front seat of a vehicle or towards the front of an aircraft
- Sit in the middle of a ship or boat
- Look into the horizon (if on a boat or in a car)
- Keep your head as still as possible
- Practice slow, deep breathing
- Avoid large meals before travel
- Get fresh air or turn air vents toward your face
- Do not smoke
Whether you are road tripping for a weekend getaway, hitting the open sea on a new adventure, or leaving on a jet plane and unsure when you will be back again, motion sickness can put a wrench in your travel plans. Although motion sickness is common and can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, you do not have to let it control you.
Schedule an appointment with a healthcare practitioner in Santa Monica who can prescribe effective motion sickness medicine and help you implement preventative strategies today. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm