How to Deal With Motion Sickness While Traveling
Are you one of those unlucky people who feel sick or even vomit during a long car travel or sea cruise? This symptom can be a sign of motion sickness.
According to WebMD, motion sickness (scientifically called as kinetosis) is a disorder causing nausea and vomiting because of a vehicle’s motion that can’t be controlled by a person. For example, there is car sickness that may form in people who travel by car or any auto transport as a passenger. This disorder can also be seen as sea sickness, which develops only when people travel using water transport.
Symptoms of motion sickness
The symptoms of motion sickness may vary individually from mild nausea to intense vomiting. In addition, some people suffering from motion sickness can experience severe headaches. Many people also report that the symptoms may come and go in waves.
The first signs of upcoming motion sickness can be:
- A vague feeling of discomfort;
- A weird taste in the mouth;
- More saliva is produced;
- Tightening around the lower jaw and upper throat;
- The skin may go pale;
Nausea and active vomiting may follow immediately after these first signs.
What causes motion sickness?
Health care specialists and scientists have difficulties in explaining the exact causes of motion sickness. Some experts believe that motion sickness happens when the brain receives conflicting signals from the body’s parts while traveling in a car or on a boat.
Other researchers suppose that travel sickness can be caused by rapid movement during fast driving or sailing that the eyes can’t comprehend at once. In this case, people who have motion sickness may also feel nauseated while watching 3D or IMAX movies.
The sensory confusion that usually happens during motion sickness can also activate the so-called “vomiting control center” in the brain. Also, there is no the exact explanation why some people with motion sickness start vomiting and others do not.
Many people who suffer from motion sickness also name some factors that may trigger their disorder. However, there is no scientific support that these triggers work for everyone who has motion sickness.
Possible triggers of motion sickness can be:
- Certain drugs;
- Feeling cold;
- Consuming greasy, spicy, fatty foods or a large meal before a journey;
- Certain strong smells like the vehicle’s fumes or sniffing a perfume with a strong aroma;
- Watching a person who is already vomiting or feeling sick.
What motion sickness medication can you take?
Health care specialists name few over-the-counter nausea medicines that can relieve symptoms of motion sickness or prevent the disorder. Like with any other medications, consider being very cautious when using any motion sickness medicine without consulting a doctor. You may try taking the following nausea medications:
- Dimenhydrinate (the brand name is Dramamine) pills are one of the most recommended nausea remedies in the United States. They can be taken every 4-8 hours while traveling. Alternatively, you can try Dimenhydrinate chewing gum;
- Scopolamine (Transderm Scop) is a motion sickness patch that can be applied behind the ears 6 hours before travel. Its effect can last up to 3 days. The side effects may include drowsiness, blurred vision, and dry mouth;
- Promethazine (Phenergan) is another popular sea sickness medicine that can be taken by mouth 2 hours before travel. Its effect can last up to 8 hours. The side effects may include dry mouth and drowsiness;
- Cyclizine (Marezine) can be taken half an hour before a journey. These pills are not recommended for children under 6 years. The side effects may include drowsiness, blurred vision, and dry mouth.
Tips and remedies that can deliver motion sickness relief
- Consider getting a good night sleep before a journey. Alternatively, try falling asleep during travel;
- Try always to face the direction in which the vehicle is moving. For example, many trains have forward and backward-facing seats.
- Choose the places where there is a minimum motion during the vehicle’s movement. In a car or bus try to sit as close as possible to the front seat. On a boat consider taking a place in the center.
- To prevent motion sickness, you may try to focus on the horizon while being in a moving vehicle. Such method can help focus and maintain your equilibrium without any confusing signals to the brain.
- Stay hydrated and eat light snacks. Nausea may increase on an empty stomach;
- Eating ginger extract or ginger based candies can help overcome travel sickness. The University of Maryland Medical Center claims that taking 250 mg of ginger extract three times throughout the day may decrease sickness and prevent vomiting. Ginger can be given to children as well. Alternatively, you can sip ginger tea or burn ginger candles in a car before travel.
- Try wearing motion sickness bands like PsiBands or Sea Bands if you believe that acupressure can be helpful.
- Try different distractions like listening to music or watching a movie, but avoid reading – it may worsen nausea.
- Consider traveling in a car with an open window. Fresh air can calm your nerves and eliminate strong fumes from foods or gasoline in a vehicle.
- Try avoiding traveling with a hangover. Drinking alcohol can stimulate nausea. Besides, motion sickness is only one of many reasons why you should avoid consuming any strong beverages during traveling.
What can you pack to control motion sickness while traveling?
- Light snacks – cracks or bananas may be helpful to calm your stomach;
- A bottle of water to prevent dehydration;
- Nausea medications if you take them;
- Wet tissues and plastic bags for emergencies;
- Any motion sickness bracelet or seasickness patch if it can help you.
The mentioned motion sickness remedies may be helpful in most cases. They can make it possible to control or even prevent motion sickness.