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Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, or how most people will remember it as simply motion sickness, is a subjective disorder when patients find themselves in environments of passive motion. Traditionally, this is usually felt more intensively in patients on the high seas because of the lack of opportunity for most people to spend time on boats but can also become problematic for patients who are driving in a car or riding on amusement park rides. [1] 

Unfortunately, why this happens to people is poorly understood and the treatment options are lacking due to this. Even in patients that suffer from this condition, there is a lot of subjectivity when it comes to intensity and duration of symptoms. What is known about this condition is that there are two main families of symptoms that affect patients: head and stomach symptoms. The majority of patients will generally present with motion sickness mostly with head symptoms. Headaches, blurry vision, dizziness and the nausea are some of the most common symptoms that these patients will complain of. Theories postulate that the reason patients have these symptoms lies in their ear canals. Physiological changes in the ear can be lead to balance problems that can affect patients more intensely. 

The other variety of symptoms that can predominate would be due to the stomach. These are patients that will present with vomiting, extreme nausea, and diarrhea. When patients do vomit, they may find temporary relief but generally, there will be relapses of vomiting that only improve when the patient gets out of the unfavorable environment.

If you find yourself on a cruise ship without a Port of Call for the next day or two, this may not be good news for you to hear. [2] This can be due to stomach acid shifting in the stomach due to high waves or bumping roads so the mechanism is slightly different than in those with headache symptoms. 

Even if we may not fully understand why this is happening, what we do know is that there is a chance for relief if patients take prophylactic medications. The first-line therapy that has been proven to work goes by the name of scopolamine, which is a medication that has been proven to make a significant difference in the frequency of symptoms like nausea, headaches, and dizziness and is commonly used in medicine as a treatment after surgeries to help patients cope with the anesthesiology. [3]

Other techniques that patients can attempt to use in order to reduce their chances of having motion sickness include behavior and psychological therapy. When patients feel dizziness, techniques, like focusing on one specific point on the horizon or closing their eyes, can help center their visual fields and prevent vomiting. 

If you find that you have gastric symptoms, you should limit the amount of food that you eat before going into unfavorable environments

A lot of this can only be achieved by anticipating your schedule but if you know you are a high-risk case for having motion sickness, using these techniques will surely help you cope with your symptoms. [3]  

With luck, you may grow out of these symptoms if you are still a child or be able to cope with conditions better when you are exposed to boats, cars or rides more often so your body can tolerate the changes in motion more appropriately. 

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