Best tips to prevent motion sickness

Best tips to prevent motion sickness

Nowadays we need to travel long distances as the world is better connected than ever before. We are regularly using cars, buses, other vehicles running on lans and trains, airplanes and sea travel. You may have experienced motion sickness while travelling. 

Today we will discuss motion sickness and we will provide you tips to prevent motion sickness. It will help you to enjoy your travel with minimal problems.

What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness is a condition in which you experience annoying symptoms when you are traveling on land, in air or even on a water surface. 

The symptoms of motion sickness may come within a few minutes of starting travel. Following are the symptoms you may experience because of motion sickness:

  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting: These are the most annoying symptoms. They may come within a few minutes of starting travel. Some people are so afraid of symptoms that they may feel nauseous even when planning to travel. The nauseous feeling may subside with single vomit or the person may vomit multiple times while traveling. After emptying out stomach contents by vomiting still people may try to vomit vigorously.
  • Anxiety and irritability: With these symptoms of nausea and vomiting people may become anxious and irritated. The sound and touch may increase the anxiety and irritability.
  • Feeling of sweating: With anxiety and irritability you may get a feeling that the weather is hot. You may sweat and may want to throw away your sweater and coats you are wearing.
  • Feeling unwell: If you have a tendency of motion sickness you may get a feeling of unwellness. You may feel that you are extremely ill. It will add to your anxiety and irritability.
  • Dizziness: This may be the prominent feature of motion sickness. Along with nausea and vomiting, you may get a feeling of dizziness and you may find it difficult to maintain balance and stand in the running vehicle.

Why do you get motion sickness?

To maintain balance of your body your brain takes various corrective steps and for this purpose your brain utilises signals coming from eyes, skin, your inner ear which detects motion and angular movements, sound.

When you travel these signals may mismatch and may not indicate the real position of your body. Your brain rather than interpreting it gets confused with such unregulated signals coming.

Because of this confusing signal the vomiting centres in your brain stem gets activated and you get all the symptoms of motion sickness. 

This may happen anytime when you are travelling on land, in air or on the water surface.

What are the factors that increase motion sickness?

Following are the factors that may increase the feeling of motion sickness. These are some avoidable and some unavoidable factors. Knowing these factors is very important to prevent the motion sickness:

  • Spicy acidic food: Eating spicy acidic food which causes hyperacidity may make you prone for motion sickness.
  • Smoking and tobacco: Those who have a habit if smoking and tobacco are more likely to get this condition. The smoke smell may induce nausea in other people around too.
  • Anticipation: If you are anticipating and expecting that you will suffer motion sickness, then you are more likely to suffer from it.
  • People around you: If you are traveling with people who are suffering and vomiting you may also get symptoms of motion sickness.
  • Dirty vehicles and road: If you are travelling in dirty old styled vehicles and treacherous roads you may suffer more.
  • Hot environment: Hot environments in the summer season will make you suffer more. You are more likely to get motion sickness and vomiting may rapidly cause dehydration in such conditions.
  • Windy environment: If you are traveling on a water surface or by air windy environment may produce turbulence in water or air shaking your vehicles very rapidly. You may get more nausea and vomiting in such condition.
  • Inadequate sleep: If you have inadequate sleep before travel you may suffer more. Those with inadequate sleep get symptoms more commonly. Even a person who never gets motion sickness may feel the symptoms in such conditions.
  • Anxiety: You are more likely to get symptoms of motion sickness if you are anxious or tensed for something.
  • Reading: Reading in a moving vehicle is difficult and produces fatigue. Additionally you are likely to get symptoms of motion sickness.

How to prevent motion sickness?

Knowing all the facts stated above now it will be easier to know the tips to prevent motion sickness. Let’s list those factors with some discussion about it:

  • Take adequate sleep: This is one of the most important factors that may save you from motion sickness. You should sleep adequately 6-10 hours the night before you travel.
  • Do not anticipate: Do not anticipate and think that you are likely to suffer. Be confident that you will not get the nausea this time. If you do this you have won the 70 percent part of your battle.
  • Do not read: Avoid reading in a moving vehicle. You engage yourself in chatting with people around you and enjoy the trip.
  • Eat simple food: Do not eat very spicy food that is likely to produce hyperacidity. Have a simple food that is easy to digest before travel.
  • Hydrate: Drink an adequate amount of water and fluids from the day before you travel. It will help you keep you adequately hydrated.
  • Avoid smoking and tobacco: Stop smoking and tobacco days before starting a trip. It will make a huge difference and you will suffer less.
  • Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol makes you more prone to the condition and you should avoid it at least 2 -3 days before travel or during travel.
  • Avoid soft drinks: You may get lured to drink soft carbonated drinks. These carbonated soft drinks make you more likely to suffer from the condition. Additionally you may get rapidly dehydrated as these carbonated drinks usually have osmolarity.
  • Sit at the middle or front: You should select a seat which is at the middle or the front of the vehicles. 
  • See at distant objects: You should sit near windows and concentrate on objects that are far away. Concentrating on near objects may cause you more motion sickness.
  • Listen to soft music: Soft soothing music while travelling may calm down your anxiety and feeling of nausea. List the soft music keeping volume at a comfortable level.
  • Medicines: Medicines that are used to treat motion sickness prevent it rather than treating it after it starts. Phenergan (promethazine), Atarax (hydroxyzine) are effective drugs for motion sickness when taken preventively 1 hour before starting the journey. They are sedating anti allergic medicine. We will discuss this post in the next post.

<span class="has-inline-color has-luminous-vivid-orange-color">Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB</span>
Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB

This article was written by Dr Yatin Bhole who is practicing Pediatrician at Bhole Children Clinic, Ravet. This post is for general information and before applying it on yourself, you should meet your doctor or meet us in person.

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