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Sickness caused by contradiction between external data from the eyes and internal cues from the balance centre in the inner ear. For example, in seasickness the inner ear senses the ship's motion, but the eyes see the still cabin. This stimulates stress hormones and accelerates stomach muscle contraction, leading to dizziness, pallor, cold sweat, and nausea and vomiting. Minimizing changes of speed and direction may help, as may reclining, not turning the head, closing the eyes, or focusing on distant objects. Drugs can prevent or relieve motion sickness but may have side effects. Pressing an acupuncture point on the wrist helps some people.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on motion sickness, visit Britannica.com.