balloon sickness

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bal·loon sick·ness

a form of altitude sickness occurring in someone as a result of ascent in a balloon.

balloon sickness

A permutation of altitude sickness reported in 1908 by French balloonists M Crouzon and M Soubies, which consisted of pain in the back of the head and neck, misting and heaviness of the eyes, tachypnoea and drowsiness. They found 100% oxygen and Agazotti’s mixture (87% oxygen and 13% carbonic acid) equally effective in ameliorating the symptoms up to 4800 metres and pure oxygen more effective at 5000 metres.


A state of being unwell. Synonym: illness

acute mountain sickness

Abbreviation: AMS
Altitude sickness.

African sleeping sickness

Sleeping sickness (2).

altitude sickness

Symptoms such as alterations in consciousness, headache, and shortness of breath that occur on exposure to high altitudes where the oxygen content of ambient air is low, e.g., during aviation or mountaineering.
Synonym: acute mountain sickness; balloon sickness

balloon sickness

Altitude sickness.

chronic mountain sickness

The slow onset of symptoms in people who reside at high altitude for several years. The symptoms include apathy, fatigue, and headache. Laboratory studies often reveal hypoxia and polycythemia. People between ages 40 and 60 are most likely to be affected. The symptoms subside when the person returns to sea level.
Synonym: Monge disease

car sickness

Motion sickness.

green sickness


milk sickness

A disease in humans characterized by weakness, vomiting, and constipation, and caused by ingestion of dairy products or meat from cattle affected with trembles. Synonym: slows; tires See: trembles See: white snakeroot

morning sickness

The nausea and vomiting that affects many women during the first few months of pregnancy. The condition typically starts about 4 to 6 weeks after conception, peaks in incidence and severity between 8 and 11 weeks, and subsides spontaneously between 12 and 16 weeks of gestation. It occurs in 50% to 88% of pregnancies and is the most common complaint in the first trimester. It probably is caused by the high level of human chorionic gonadotropin, low blood sugars related to fasting while asleep, and altered carbohydrate metabolism. Synonym: nausea gravidarum


Complaints vary from mild nausea on arising to severe intermittent nausea and vomiting throughout the day. The woman also may experience headache, vertigo, and exhaustion. Severe persistent vomiting with retching between meals should be reported and investigated. See: hyperemesis gravidarum

Patient care

In most cases, dietary management will minimize or eliminate symptoms. The woman is advised to eat dry crackers or toast before rising; to eat something every 2 hr; to drink fluids between meals; and to avoid spicy, greasy, or fried foods and foods with strong odors. Rarely will the patient need antiemetics.


The use of any drug during pregnancy should be carefully evaluated before administration to avoid possible damage to the fetus. If vomiting persists, hospitalization with IV fluids and rest are prescribed.

motion sickness

A syndrome, marked primarily by nausea and/or vomiting, due to a conflict between the true vertical axis and the subjective or perceived vertical axis. Motion sickness is a common illness experienced by car, boat, plane, or space travelers. It is also sometimes felt during motion picture viewing. Susceptibility to motion sickness is greatest between the ages of 2 and 12; it lessens with age but can be provoked in most people if the inciting stimulus is strong enough.


Antimotion sickness medications include diazepam, diphenhydramine, meclizine, and scopolamine. Some patients with motion sickness benefit by eating small quantities of food when they begin to feel ill.

Synonym: car sickness

radiation sickness

Radiation syndrome.

sea sickness

Sickness caused by motion of a vessel while at sea.
See: motion sickness

serum sickness

An adverse (type III hypersensitivity) immune response following administration of foreign antigens, esp. antiserum obtained from horses or other animals. Animal serum was formerly used for passive immunization against some infectious diseases but now has very limited use in antitoxins, monoclonal antibodies, and antilymphocyte globulin. Serum sickness can also occur after administration of penicillins and other drugs. Antigen-antibody complexes form and deposit on the walls of small blood vessels, stimulating an inflammatory response that produces a pruritic rash, fever, joint pain and swelling, myalgias, and enlarged lymph nodes 7 to 14 days after exposure. Treatment consists of salicylates (such as aspirin) and antihistamines to minimize inflammation; corticosteroids may be given for severe symptoms.

sleeping sickness

1. Encephalitis lethargica.
2. Infection with the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense or gambiense, parasitic protozoans introduced into the blood by the bite of a tsetse fly. The disease is marked by fever, protracted lethargy, weakness, tremors, and wasting. Synonym: African sleeping sickness See: Trypanosoma brucei

space sickness

A transient form of motion sickness occurring in space travelers. See: motion sickness
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