08 January 2009

Handling Sea Sickness

The currently favored theory of motion sickness is that the central nervous system can't reconcile the conflicting signals coming from the eyes, the inner ear, and the rest of the body.

You're in a ship's cabin. Your vision says you're not moving, yet your body is constantly pitching and you're having to catch yourself. "The brain is trying to cope with all this until a reaction comes that says, "I can't deal with coordinating my balance in this environment!"

At this point, the central nervous system sends chemical messages, which in turn trigger physical symptoms. These often begin with excessive salivation, yawning, heat rushes, and cold sweats, and may lead to vomiting and drowsiness. You could find yourself with a severe headache, and in the worst case, dehydration, lethargy, and collapse.

Here is an advice taken from the PST Digest:

Look to the horizon. Breath fresh air. Eat lightly and avoid too much alcohol. If you're in the car, stop, get out, and let your body recover.

Or try psychological approach. Part of the trick is to turn your thought elsewhere - concentrate on a task, play game, if your attention is focused on doing a particular job, then when these motion - mismatch signals get to the brain, they get a busy signal.

"The one great thing about sea sickness," say nurse Moore, "is that it ends just as soon as you reach the dock!"

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