Motion Sickness: How to Deal with It While Traveling

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Motion Sickness

Do you want to travel by air, sea or road but the thought gives you pause? Before you go, consider these motion sickness remedies and treatments. They'll help ease your stomach during your travels.

Understanding motion sickness

Motion sickness is a common experience. It's a harmless condition but feels very uncomfortable. You might experience it on an airplane, boat or train or in a car. You may even have it on an amusement park ride. It's also one of the easiest conditions to understand and conquer.

Symptoms of motion sickness include:

  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • General feeling of queasiness
  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting

You may experience one or more symptoms while the vehicle is in motion or rocking. The reason you're having symptoms is because your inner ear is out of balance. This unbalanced feeling happens because your senses are out of sync with your central nervous system.

For example, say you're a passenger in a car. Your inner ears may sense motion in all directions. At the same time, your eyes might not see any movement. That's especially true if you're looking down at a book. Those conflicting signals can cause motion sickness.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent it.

Make a difference with medicine

There are plenty of effective over-the-counter medications for motion sickness. You may need to experiment before finding the best remedy for you.

You can also ask your doctor for a longer-lasting medication. Some prescription medications come as patches that you wear behind your ear. It’s important to note some medications do have mild side effects, such as dry mouth or drowsiness.

Plan for alternative treatments

If you prefer to skip medicine during your trip, it's possible to avoid motion sickness symptoms without taking medicine.

Here are some promising natural treatments you might try:

  • Eat ginger or peppermint, in a tablet, chewing gum or a fresh stem. It may help to reduce motion sickness by limiting your nausea.
  • Acupuncture is when a practitioner places very thin needles on strategic areas of your body. This can calm your nervous system and reduce motion sickness.
  • Acupressure, much like acupuncture, uses finger pressure on certain areas of the body. This can reduce symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea and vomiting. You can find a practitioner or use acupressure bands from medical supply or drug stores.

Quick solutions

A bout of motion sickness may sneak up on you when you least expect it. Even if you don't have any medicine or alternative treatments on hand, there's relief for mild symptoms.

  • Leave areas with strong odors that can worsen your nausea.
  • Chew gum or anything chewy to reduce the conflict between your vision and inner ear balance.
  • Before traveling, avoid alcohol and spicy or greasy foods. These can upset or fill up your stomach.
  • Step into fresh, cool air if there's poor airflow in the vehicle. Turn the air vents toward your face on an airplane or in a car.

Mind your seat

Preventative care for motion sickness also begins by sitting in a position that lessens your symptoms.

Tips for your next trip include:

  • Sit in the front seat of a car rather than the back so your senses can remain in sync.
  • Choose a seat in the front car of a train so your eyes can see what's in front of you.
  • Ride the upper deck of a ferry or ship so you can sense where your body is moving.
  • Select a seat that's on the wing of the plane so you can experience a stable, smoother ride.
  • Sit in a seat facing the direction you're traveling instead of riding in a backward-facing seat.
  • Whenever you're in a vehicle, refrain from reading a book and look out the window instead.
  • Close your eyes or nap if you're on a ship or boat without access to a window. It can keep your eyes and inner ears in sync.

Want more healthy living tips? Check out these mental health hacks to add to your daily routine.

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