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 Amazon Motion Sickness Related Books


bulletMotion Sickness can make your travels a real trial by R J Ignelia from "The Paramus Post".
bulletBattling Sea Sickness from Sailing Magazine By: Rick Brucato
bullet Medline Plus Motion Sickness  Topics
bullet AAO-HNS American Academy - Dizziness and Motion Sickness
bullet Kids Health - What is Motion Sickness
bullet Mayo Clinic - Motion sickness: First Aid
bullet CDC Travelers Health Motion Sickness
bullet Medem Motion Sickness in Children
bullet Cleveland Clinic - What you need to know about Seasickness



Motion sickness can make your travels a real trial:

By R J Ignelzi for the "The Paramus Post"   Sunday, May 28 2006, 12:35 AM


QUEASY RIDER - Suffer from motion sickness? There are a few simple steps you can do to prevent it. Whoever said getting there is half the fun never had the "fun" of hanging over the side of a boat, stomach churning faster than the water below.

Studies estimate that a third to more than half of the population's stomachs start rocking when the boat, car or plane starts rolling.

"Some people seem to be more sensitive to motion sickness than other people," says Dr. David Spees, who specializes in travelers' health at the Sharp Rees-Stealy Travel Clinic in San Diego. "But, anybody is susceptible with the right pitch and right movement."

Fortunately, there are now more treatments than ever. They range from high-tech battery-operated devices, to a variety of over-the-counter and prescription drugs and patches, to common ingredients found in your spice cabinet.

The problem is not everyone agrees on what works, and not everything works for everybody.

"Almost anything you do (to counter motion sickness) is going to make you feel better almost half the time," Spees says, noting that the placebo response rate is about 40 percent for motion-sickness remedies.

The miserable malady results from a tangled web of messages sent to your brain. The brain relies on cues from the inner ear, the muscles and the eyes to tell it where the body is in space. When any of these systems send different messages, your brain gets confused, and you turn a ghastly shade of green.

If you're reading in a moving car, your inner ear knows you're moving, but your muscles think you're sitting still, and your eyes don't see anything moving because they're looking at the page. On an airplane, your inner ear senses the motion but your eyes only see the cabin, which appears stationary.

"The brain can't make sense of the disconnect between the eyes and the inner ear," Spees says. "The motion your inner ear is feeling is not the same as what your eyes are tracking. And, this imbalance is what's believed to make you sick."

The effect of this signal confusion first manifests itself with a little queasiness and slight perspiration. It quickly progresses to a headache, profuse cold sweating, increased saliva production and nausea. And, we all know what comes after that.

Age and sex seem to play a part in who gets motion sick. According to a 1998 study conducted by health products manufacturer Cirrus Technologies, babies and the elderly are more tolerant of motion. Those who suffer the most symptoms are children 12 and younger (excluding babies younger than 6 months). And, more women (44 percent) develop symptoms than men (33 percent).

Migraine sufferers are prone to motion sickness, while anxiety, lack of sleep and poor ventilation can also contribute to the illness.

Few clinical studies have been performed showing the efficacy of any motion sickness aids, but there are champions and critics of each one. Finding the one that works for you may be a matter of trial and error.

"If you try one (remedy) for motion sickness and it doesn't work, don't give up. Try something else. They're not all the same, and they don't all work the same for everyone," says Dr. Erik Viirre, who specializes in treating inner ear disorders at the University of California San Diego.

When packing for your vacation trip, along with sunscreen and insect repellent, consider bringing one or more of the following motion-sickness remedies.

- Over-the-counter medications: Common motion sickness drugs including Dramamine (dimenhydrinate), Bonine (meclizine), and Marezine (cyclizine) are antihistamines. They prevent the release of histamine, which dilates blood vessels and blunts the effects of motion on the inner ear, and lessens the confusing messages to the brain.

According to Spees, regular antihistamines most commonly used to treat colds and allergies (such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton), also can work for motion sickness. The downside of any of the OTC motion sickness/antihistamine drugs are the negative side effects: the drowsiness and dry mouth.

- Prescription remedies: An aid especially popular with cruise passengers is the Transderm Scop patch, which looks like a spot bandage and is usually worn behind the ear. Impregnated with scopolamine, a drug that reduces nerve fiber activity in the inner ear, it's released slowly during a 72-hour period. The patch needs to be applied about six hours before travel and can't be removed and reapplied. Scopolamine is also available as an oral medication and is effective for six to eight hours.

The side effects of scopolamine include drowsiness, dry mouth and blurred vision, and it's not recommended for children or long-term use.

Tranquilizers can also help control motion sickness by calming all of the body's senses. They're generally reserved for adults who suffer severe and recurrent queasiness and who haven't been helped by antihistamines or other alternatives.

- Alternative treatments. Both acupressure and acupuncture have successfully relieved motion sickness symptoms for some people.

Acupressure bands worn on the wrist may stimulate a point on the inside of the wrist (the PC6) that may activate the part of the brain associated with nausea relief, says Dr. Robert Bonakdar, director of pain management at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego.

The problem with over-the-counter elastic wrist bands (SeaBands or BioBands) which are supposed to stimulate that specific point is that they can move about the wrist and may not always target the acupressure point, Bonakdar says.

Acupuncture needles can also be applied to the inside of the wrist to stimulate the meridian, which is supposed to block the nausea reflex. If acupuncture is your treatment of choice, Bonakdar advises starting treatments a few weeks before your trip if you anticipate motion-sickness problems.

- Deep breathing: For some people, basic deep breathing exercises may help prevent or lessen the severity of motion sickness. A simple rhythm of inhaling slowly as you count to seven, then holding the breath for a count of five, and finally releasing it for another count of seven should be repeated a dozen times, or until you feel better.

- Ginger: One of the oldest remedies for motion sickness may be found in your spice cabinet or produce market. Ginger acts as a sponge to absorb stomach acid that your stomach pumps out as a natural reaction to motion.

Ginger also may have some effect on the serotonin receptors which can affect nausea. Bonakdar recommends chewing on a couple of slivers of raw ginger, boiling some ginger root into a tea, or taking a ginger-honey syrup or powdered ginger capsules. Syrup and capsules are available at natural food stores.

Pass on the ginger ale or ginger cookies, since they don't seem to do the same job.

- ReliefBand: This FDA-approved device, which looks like a wristwatch and is worn on the underside of the wrist, uses gentle electrical signals to stimulate the nerves in the wrist. The little zaps are supposed to interfere with the nausea messages sent between the brain and the stomach.

Powered by batteries, the ReliefBand is activated by turning the dial to one of five stimulation levels. The electrical impulse creates a tingling sensation that travels up the wrist through the palm of the hand and into the middle fingers.

Available at some drugstores and at Sharper Image (about $110), the device comes with a tube of conductivity gel.


Simple steps lead to a smoother journey

Copley News Service

In addition to the patches, pills, powders and pulsating bands that ward off motion sickness, there are also a few practical things you can do to ward off motion sickness. As summer vacation season approaches, it's best to be proactive, because once symptoms start, they're tough to stop.

- Drive rather than ride. Since drivers anticipate changes in motion, their systems aren't as bothered by the curves and bumps. However, don't drive after taking sedating motion-sickness medications.

- If you can't drive, sit up front. And, look straight ahead out the windshield, not the side windows. The back seat is the worst for motion sickness because there is no focus point. If you must ride in the back, try to position yourself so you can look straight ahead out the windshield.

- Minimize head movement. Use the headrest to keep your head stationary when possible.

- Take driving breaks. Since most people recover fairly quickly when the movement stops, try to break up long car rides into stages. Make stops long enough so you can get out of the car, walk around and get fresh air.

- On a boat, when possible, stay up on deck where the visual cues agree with the sense of balance and motion. Keep your eyes fixed on the horizon, not the waves.

- On a cruise ship, ask for a cabin in the middle of the ship near the waterline, where the motion is minimized. Try to get beds that are parallel to the length of the ship; the rocking is usually easier to handle than rolling.

- In a plane, sit between the wings, where there's the least motion, and keep the air vent on.

- Get a good night's sleep before leaving on a trip. Lack of rest can make you more prone to nausea.

- Make sure you have good ventilation, no matter what your mode of transportation.

- Avoid reading if you get motion sick. Your eyes simultaneously deflect the motion of the landscape in your peripheral vision, which may make you queasy.

- Eat lightly. Avoid fatty, spicy, salty and strong-smelling food.

- Don't drink alcohol or smoke.

- R.J. Ignelzi

Article from Sailing Magazine

By: Rick Brucato

Battling seasickness
When it comes to preventing mal de mer, natural and chemical options can offer relief r

A stiff breeze pushes us up the lake, along with some choppy water, as we set out on the season’s first cruise. The fresh air feels great on this crisp morning and the crew is excited. The chop, however, is building and an occasional steep roller lays us hard over. We slog north and after taking it on the nose for two hours I notice one of the crew starts looking a little pale. Seconds later, the guy is gripping the lifeline, feeding the alewives and praying for salvation. We’re just starting our five-day sail. What could have been done to prevent this and what to do now? Can we salvage our sail?

Seasickness or mal de mer strikes even the most hardened sailor occasionally. Seasickness occurs when the vestibular system, the balance mechanisms within the inner ear, become disrupted and out of sync with visual signals. The inner ear, consisting of the semicircular canal and utricle, tracks a boat’s up and down and sideways motion. The brain registers motion, but the visual system fails to provide confirming information, and the mismatched messages can cause nausea. The most common example is a boat’s rising and falling without an external reference point such as horizon or fixed landmarks (or other boats in motion). If the body is moving up and down, but vision is focused on something static, like the cabin sole, nausea may ensue.

Many people are sensitive to motion alone, even without mismatched signals. Factors that precipitate or exacerbate motion sickness include diet, illness, dehydration, fatigue, negative associations from previous sailing experiences (diesel exhaust or other fumes often become powerful triggers) and anxiety. If car, airplane or roller coaster rides make you queasy, sailing in rough weather may test your gut as well.

If seasickness threatens your sailing enjoyment, or hampers your crew, there are effective countermeasures, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, non-drug therapies such as wristbands, dietary, health and psychological strategies. Some approaches will work even when the misery has already set in.

Prescription treatments
Prescription motion sickness medications fall into two classes: anticholinergic and antihistamine. The most commonly prescribed seasickness medication is Transderm Scop also called “the patch.” This round bandage, worn behind the ear, contains the anticholinergic medicine scopolamine. Scopolamine diffuses through a membrane at a constant rate, and is absorbed through the skin, slipping in between vestibular system nerve cells, which help regulate motion malaise. Blocking key signals at cholinergic nerve junctions, scopolamine stomps out nausea pretty effectively. The patch must be applied well ahead of time as effective blood levels are not achieved for six to eight hours.

Scopolamine is also available in tablet form (Scopace), which has rated more effective than the patch in some studies, possibly because dosing may be more accurate. Scopolamine also comes in an injectable form, used for mariners stuck in a life raft or rescue pod in offshore emergencies where prolonged seasickness can become very dangerous. Because of its anticholinergic properties, Scopolamine may cause dehydration, blurred vision, short-term memory disruption and dry mouth and drowsiness. Your physician must prescribe this powerful medication; make sure your doctor knows what other medications you’re taking or if you have health problems.

In addition to scopolamine, the prescription drug Stugeron (brand name for the drug cinnarizine) is often used in the United Kingdom and Germany, but has not yet been approved in the United States. Stugeron is a prescription antihistamine that inhibits stimulation of the vestibular system. It is often included in studies that evaluate several drugs with scopolamine and nonprescription drugs.

Antihistamines were not originally developed to aid sailors suffering from seasickness. Ocean travelers suffering from allergies reported fewer problems with motion sickness and nausea. Antihistamines also have intrinsic anticholinergic properties, similar to scopolamine. Unfortunately, antihistamines typically cause drowsiness.

Another prescription drug available in the U.S. is Phenergan (brand name for the drug promethazine). Promethazine prevents vomiting and can serve as an anti-motion sickness agent. It is also used as a sedative compound at high doses. Promethazine has been used to treat astronauts—motion sickness in space can be a serious problem.

Chlorpheniramine is another drug that has recently been tested in humans and may become indicated for motion sickness.

In general, prescription drugs are stronger than the over-the-counter remedies, and may conflict with other medications. The strength required for motion sickness drugs varies with each individual. Sailors on a daysail have different needs than those making transatlantic passages or offshore sailors stuck in foul weather for several days.

Alternative remedies
Often, mild nausea or seasickness experienced on daysails or coastal cruises can be prevented with nonprescription drugs or alternative relief methods. The most recognized nonprescription drug, Dramamine, is formulated with the antihistamine dimenhydrinate. This drug has helped many green-gilled sailors, but it can leave the crew crawling for a bunk—this antihistamine makes many sleepy. Dramamine and Bonine tablets now come in a newer formulation, meclizine HCL. Meclizine HCL has fewer side effects, including sleepiness. Bonine comes in chewable raspberry-flavored tablets. Sedation caused by antihistamines has been prevented in tests by spiking the compounds with nonprescription stimulants such as caffeine. Meclizine HCL has been tested with caffeine in some studies. Scopolamine is available with stronger, prescription stimulants as well. These combinations are used when alertness and clear concentration are particularly important, as antihistamines can interfere with concentration.

It is important to note that some medications may have side effects that may make one more prone to seasickness or may reduce the effectiveness of seasickness medications. Always remind your physician about your daily, maintenance medications when requesting a medication for seasickness. Sometimes a simple dose adjustment of your meds will reduce seasickness tendency.

Ginger comes in many forms but is most often sold either as Sailors Secret or Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum, produced by the Sea-Band folks. Research studies suggest ginger may speed up digestion, block nausea directly or otherwise soothe a turbulent gut. The active constituents of ginger, polyphenolic compounds or gingerols, inhibit Helicobacter pylori, a causal culprit in dyspepsia, peptic ulcer and possibly colon and gastric cancer. Ginger root extract (SGRE) has been combined with pycnogenol (a natural extract) into Zinopin, a travel supplement that is supposed to reduce risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and motion sickness. Ginger does indeed seem to be good stuff.

Other herbal remedies include Sea-Sik Oral Spray, a mix of homeopathic and herbal remedies; Queasy Pops, also from natural herbs that come in ginger, peppermint and lavender flavors; and On The Move capsules, a combination of ginger root, licorice root and cayenne. The effectiveness of the above herbal remedies is not well documented, although Sea-Sik cites numerous research studies on its Web site.

A natural remedy that has received attention is the herbal concentrate Motion Eaze. Motion Eaze consists of oils from birch, frankincense, lavender chamomile, and myrrh peppermint and ylang-ylang. Motion Eaze is dabbed behind the ear, and probably absorbed into the vestibular system, much like the scopolamine.

Acupressure relieves seasickness for some by stimulating or altering nerve impulses at the wrist’s median nerve, which ultimately changes brain chemistry associated with nausea. Sea Bands, BioBands and ReliefBands all work on this principle. Sea Bands and BioBands exert pressure on the wrist via a plastic bead. BioBands come with a Velcro strap that permits pressure adjustment. ReliefBands apply an electrical shock to the wrist, blocking impulses en route to the brain. ReliefBands are available as disposable bracelets or with rechargeable butteries and a battery life indicator. Multiple settings permit adjustment based on need, but they offer no relief without batteries.

There is also some evidence that hypnosis reduces motion sickness. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reported in 2000 that hypnosis was more effective than promethazine in preventing sickness in laboratory testing.

A good diet
Any food or drink that is acidic or hard to digest such as orange juice, coffee, fried bacon, sausage or eggs can cause stomach upset that may precipitate more serious nausea and seasickness. Coffee also contains caffeine, a diuretic that causes the body to eliminate water, even if water is needed.

Grease-ball breakfasts are better replaced with oat bran, granola, water or less acidic juices and drinks. Sugary sodas may taste good, but in the heat of a hot beat they can suck the water right out of you. Alcohol may take the edge off, but too much increases the risk of serious seasickness for two reasons. First, it impairs balance, equilibrium and can upset the stomach. Secondly, alcohol is a major dehydrator; heat, wave motion and booze cruising is a sure recipe for spiraling mal de mer. Sports drinks such as Powerade, Gatorade and All Sport, help maintain electrolyte balance and fluid control. Water, however, is still the best hydrator in many people’s books.

When seasickness tightens its grip, doctors and research studies indicate lying on your side or back helps. This reduces head movements relative to your body and also gives muscles a chance to relax, rather than fighting seas and wind. Keeping an eye on the horizon may help too. When the chop starts to churn, so does an upset stomach, and antacids such as Maalox or Tums can help.

When medications, rest, sleep or prayer just can’t keep you from blowing your bilge, it might seem a good idea to stop drinking or eating. However, if misery spirals down drastically enough for dry heaves to kick in, you may be en route to serious dehydration. Weakness from lack of calories may complicate the situation. Try to keep hydrated with sports drinks or water, even if you can only keep them down for a short while. Fluids are quickly absorbed, as are liquid calories. Managing this cycle is very important to feeling better. Energy bars, get into your system quickly and can really help.

Anxiety can bring on seasickness. How many times have we jumped on a boat stressed to the max only to find that a challenging sail may actually put our tired, stressed souls over the edge? Anxiety can make a person more susceptible to seasickness, and worrying about hurling definitely makes it worse.

Fear goes hand in hand with anxiety. Remember: If your spouse, child or friend wants to sail, but has had bad experiences with seasickness, don’t push them. Pick a couple of bluebird days to get them out, make sure they have adequate seasickness protection, and let them know you’re willing to run back to the dock should they start to feel poorly or scared. It is definitely possible to reverse seasickness fear and anxiety, but you have to be patient. Much of the battle is won by having confidence in the medications and prevention steps.

There are many options and strategies to cope with seasickness. Several effective prescription medications work well when tested ahead and taken at the proper time. Nonprescription medications, alternative herbal medications, ginger and wristbands all provide relief to some and can be used together. Diet is important, avoiding alcohol, too much caffeine or meals that are difficult to digest and greasy. Taken together, this information should help take the misery out of sailing while seasick.