The Risk Factors for Motion Sickness in Senior Citizens

The Risk Factors for Motion Sickness in Senior Citizens

Motion sickness can upset individuals of all ages, although senior citizens are more prone to it, mainly because of their mental and physical conditions. Typically, motion sickness symptoms are hard to detect due to their similarity with other common health conditions symptoms or those resulting from medication side effects. Indeed, this is why specialized transport services for senior citizens are essential for elders taking non-emergency transportation.

What is motion sickness?

Typically, motion sickness is a type of nausea that results from movement or motion, particularly when traveling in the automobile. Individuals who experience airsick, seasick, or carsick are suffering from motion sickness. The condition can result in cold sweats, vomiting, and nausea. Although the elderly, women, and children are more likely to experience motion sickness, the disease can affect virtually anyone. There are various ways you can reduce the risk of motion sickness, such as taking steps while in motion. Besides, medications such as scopolamine patches can also help prevent nausea.

What causes motion sickness?

Motion sickness arises when the information from the ears, eyes, and the body doesn’t make sense in the brain. Too much motion in the airplane, car, amusement park rides, or boat can make the traveler feel queasy, very sick, or clammy. Some people end up vomiting or feeling nervous while in motion

Who is likely to get motion sickness?

Do you know that about one in every three people experiences motion sickness at least once at some point? Senior citizens, women, and children aged two to 12 years are more likely to experience motion sickness. However, anyone can experience this condition.

Several factors increase the chances of experiencing motion sickness.

  • Inner ear disorders
  • Hormonal birth control
  • Migraines
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Family history of motion sickness.

The brain receives signals from your motion-sensing organs such as the inner ears, eyes, muscles, and joints, and when such information is conflicting, the brain doesn’t determine if you’re moving or stationary. This confusion in your brain results in sickness feelings.

For instance, when riding in a boat

  • Your eyes see moving water masses hence registers movement.
  • The inner ears detect movement
  • The joints and muscles notice that your body is still stagnant
  • The brain records a disconnection of these conflicting messages resulting in motion sickness.

Here are some of the actions that can easily trigger motion sickness include

  • Virtual reality experiences and amusement park rides
  • Reading while in a moving car, boat or airplane
  • Watching movies and video games for an extended period.
  • Riding in a bus, boat, or plane.

What are some of the common indicators of motion sickness?

Motion sickness can happen at any time. For instance, a person can experience motion sickness symptoms and feel fine after a few minutes. Some of the common symptoms include

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweats
  • Headache
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability.
  • Vomiting, nausea, and increased saliva
  • Rapid breathing/ gulping for air
  • Pale skin.

Test and diagnosis.

How to diagnose motion sickness.

The healthcare provider may ask you to describe how you’re feeling and what is triggering these symptoms. Besides, the healthcare provider may perform some physical examinations by checking your ears and eyes.

Treatment and management. How is motion sickness treated or managed?

There are several options you can embrace to prevent motion sickness or in the treatment of symptoms. Some of the popular motion sickness treatment options include.

Use of antihistamines. Typically, antihistamines are used to treat allergies, but you can also use them to prevent motion sickness and ease the symptoms. The most effective antihistamines cause drowsiness; otherwise, the non-drowsy antihistamines may not be effective.

What are some of the common risk factors for motion sickness?

  • Riding in a boat, car, airplane, or another moving automobile.
  • Women are more prone to morning sickness than men
  • Drug use or alcohol
  • Lack of adequate sleep
  • Family history of motion sickness
  • History of anxiety, migraine, frequent nausea, and vomiting.
  • Cigarette smoke or strong odors such as those from gasoline, exhaust, and diesel
  • Poor ventilation in the automobile
  • Sitting in a position where you are blocked from seeing the outside

Preventive Care

There are various ways a person can embrace to prevent experiencing car motion sickness.

  • opt sitting in the front seat where you can see outside the automobile
  • Maintain your eyes on the skyline
  • Avoid reading while onboard a car, boat, or airplane.
  • Let your head rest against the seatback to avoid unnecessary movement
  • Adjust the air vents towards you
  • Avoid smoking while riding

How to prevent motion sickness while on an airplane.

  • Avoid consuming alcohol, big and greasy meals one night before the air travel
  • Eat snacks or light meals with low-calorie content for the next 24 hours before your scheduled air travel.
  • Preferably, sit near the front side of the aircraft or seat over the aircraft wing
  • Ensure to turn the air vent flow towards you.



How to prevent motion sickness while on a boat.

    • Sit near the front of the boat/ship or on the upper deck cabin.
    • Keep your eyes fixed on the land or horizon.

Prevention &Treatment

It’s therefore imperative to plan your journey to prevent or avoid the adverse effects of motion sickness. The sickness is more likely to affect the elderly, pregnant women, and children aging between 2 and 12 years. It’s also trendy for people suffering from migraine headaches. It may arise from genetic conditions. When the motion stops, the sickness also stops. The patient gradually feels better. Although rare, a problem of the inner ear can cause this sickness.

As stated earlier, the sickness results from an imbalance between your feelings and what you can see. For instance, your body records a forward motion in a moving car while your body is still.

Take motion sickness medication before traveling, preferably one or two hours earlier.

Choose the most appropriate seat. For instance, if you’re in a car, the front passenger seat is the most appropriate. If you’re on a plane, then sit over the plane’s wing. Sit facing forward while on a train ride and preferably near the window. This is because you’ll experience fewer bumps while on these seats and allow you to see the horizon. If you’re on a ship, you can request a room near the water level.

Use medication to treat the symptoms. If you’re always traveling, it’s of great help to learn how to prevent and control symptoms. For instance, mind-body practices like biofeedback and cognitive-behavioral therapy may prove effective.

Ensure you get enough air. Let the air conditioner let in the fresh air and then direct the air vent towards you. It’s better to sit close to a window when riding on a covered boat.

Avoid risk factors that you can’t change. For instance, avoid riding on a speed boat since the firm bumps and waves might make you feel sick; otherwise, take your medicine in advance.

Whenever you feel sick, it's okay to feel sick

Avoid taking heavy meals a few hours before traveling and during traveling. You can instead opt to eat small portions of bland food.

Drink adequate water and avoid alcohol.

Talk to a doctor about the possible therapies for your condition, such as pressure bands. Common symptoms are paleness, dizziness, and sweating. Senior citizens are more likely to experience this sickness because of their inner ear imbalance and slower reaction to time resulting from natural aging.

It’s essential to organize safe transportation for the elderly, whether during medical or non-medical travels. For instance, wheelchair transportation is a popular service to help senior citizens travel safely on airplanes, ships, or vehicles. This is because the old passenger doesn’t have to keep on moving while inside the automobile.

Great care and assistance are inevitable when it comes to transporting seniors who experience motion sickness. If you have a loved one, especially a senior, who needs non-emergency medical travel, you can call us to help you transport your senior.

Which are some of the herbs that may help treat motion sickness?

Do you know that several herbs and supplements can be effective in treating various sicknesses, including motion? Most of these herbs are commonly used by those experiencing motion sickness.

Ginger is a natural remedy for vomiting and nausea. Besides, several studies have shown that ginger can increase the chances of bleeding, particularly if you’ve taken blood thinners such as aspirin. It’s highly recommended to let your doctor know before taking the garlic concoction.

Peppermint. It can help reduce nausea symptoms for someone experiencing motion sickness. However, peppermint should not be used together with some medications. Let your doctor know about it before taking your peppermint.

Other techniques include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This technique can help reduce the anxiety experienced by people with motion sickness.

Breathing techniques. Slow and rapid breathing can worsen movement sickness symptoms, while slow-paced breathing techniques can help lower anxiety and other symptoms.

Acupuncture. Several studies have shown that acupressure can help reduce symptoms of severe motion sickness, similar to acupuncture. Typically, an acupressure practitioner uses the same points as those used in acupuncture, although it uses fingers instead of needles to apply the pressure.

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