What is Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is the term attributed to our body responses to motion by sea, car, train or air. According to the United State Centre for Disease Control (CDC), given sufficient stimulus all people with functional vestibular systems can develop motion sickness. However, individual susceptibility varies greatly. Motion sickness is said to be more common among women especially during pregnancy or menstruation.
I know it can be very embarrassing especially if you ‘re sitting beside a very irritable fellow. Let’s not even talk about if it is your child that is affected, you won’t wish for a “remix” of that trip. But you don’t have to go through such stress.
Tips For Controlling Motion Sickness
Hae you been wondering if it is actually possible, well, here are tips to prevent Motion sickness from spoiling that lovely family trip.
- Ensure adequate ventilation where you are seated. Poor ventilation with fumes, smoke, or carbon monoxide can increase the risk of developing motion sickness. If the AC is not on, ensure air is coming in from somewhere.
- Do not overeat or take alcoholic beverages before or during travel. These are very strong triggers for motion sickness. It’s a No-No.
- If the travel time is short, it is advisable to avoid food and fluids. However, for long distance trip, small amounts of fluids and bland food consumed FREQUENTLY are preferred to large meals. Some people find dry crackers and carbonated drinks helpful.
- Minimize the discrepancy between the visual (eye) and the vestibular (ears) stimuli. This can be achieved by sitting in a position where vehicle movement is most evident e.g front seat of a car or a window side. If travelling on a ship, focus less on the cabin wall more on the land masses/horizon and take a seat beside the window in an aeroplane (the wing side preferably).
- Totally avoid reading or rear-facing the seats. Ensure your head is well supported. I am a living testimony as per this one. Reading in a moving object is a big No-No for me or else the journey will turn to a rollercoaster.
- Distract yourself. Listening to music or using aromatherapy scents such as mint or lavender. Flavored lozenges may also help, in particular, ginger-flavored. Lozenges may also function as distractions or, in the case of ginger, may hasten gastric emptying.
- Take prophylactic drugs. These drugs alongside other preventive measures discussed above will maximally benefit you if you are susceptible to motion sickness. The medications must be taken before symptoms start, interventions are usually less effective after symptoms develop.
Drugs used include promethazine, metoclopramide, diphenhydramine, meclizine, dimenhydrinate, cyclizine, scopolamine (not recommended for children). These drugs are usually taken 1hour before departure and some come as transdermal patches.
Are there other ways you manage your motion sickness? Kindly drop a comment, we will like to hear from you. Thank you!
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The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. Nineteenth Edition.
wwwnc.cdc.gov Accessed 25/07/16