Good to Know Remedies on How to Deal with Motion Sickness
Motion Sickness: What to do - Remedies
I have motion sickness since I was a kid. I get car sick, sea sick, air sick, just to name a few. Gravol used to be my constant travel companion. Now, I take any generic product that says "for motion sickness." I couldn't leave the house without it. However, I do not get motion sickness when I'm driving. That's because my mind is concentrated on driving and I'm looking straight ahead. As a passenger, if I am sitting in the front seat and looking straight ahead, I am less likely to get sick. But this is an impossible task with kids in the back. In any circumstances, please do not ask me to sit in the back seat, unless you are ready to stop at a moment's notice or have a bucket on hand because in just a few minutes, I would get violently sick. I thought I was cursed. Now I know better... I am not the only one.
Survey shows that millions of people suffer from motion sickness.
- About 33% of people are susceptible to motion sickness even in mild circumstances such as riding in the car or just being on a boat in calm water.
- Nearly 66% of people are susceptible in more severe conditions.
And humans are not the only ones who suffer motion sickness. Animals are also susceptible to motion sickness.
What is motion sickness?
Motion sickness or kinetosis is a very common disturbance of the inner ear. In the inner ear, motion sickness affects the sense of balance and equilibrium. Motion sickness is also known as "travel sickness," and depending on how we travel, is also referred to as seasickness, airsickness, or car sickness.
What causes motion sickness?
According to Rafael Tarnopolsky, M.D., a professor of otolaryngology at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, "Motion sickness results when the brain receives wrong information about the environment."
Motion sickness occurs when the body, the inner ear, and the eyes send conflicting signals to the brain. For example, when the body is moved intentionally, like walking, the input from all three pathways - the body, the inner ear, and the eyes - is coordinated by our brain. When there is unintentional movement of the body, such as when you are seated in the car and the car is moving, the brain becomes disoriented because of conflicting input from the three pathways. This conflict among the inputs is responsible for motion sickness.
What are the signs and symptoms of motion sickness?
The most common signs and symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, paleness of the skin, cold sweats, vomiting, dizziness, headache, increased salivation, and fatigue.
What to do if you have motion sickness?
If you are susceptible to motion sickness or if you are suffering from it, you can do the following:
- In a car - Sit in the front seat and keep your eyes on the horizon. Rest your head against the seat back, to keep it still. You can turn the air vents toward your face. Avoid reading and smoking.
- On a boat - Go up on the deck and watch the motion of the horizon. Fresh air will do you good.
- In an airplane - Sit by the window and look outside. Choose a seat over the wings where there is less motion. Turn the air vent flow toward your face.
What are the remedies for motion sickness?
- Medication - You can ask your doctor or pharmacist what motion sickness medication is best for you. There are over-the-counter medication to control your symptoms of motion sickness that you can take at least 30 minutes before travel. But be aware that motion sickness medications may cause drowsiness and impair judgment.
- Watch what you eat before travel - Avoid big, greasy meals, salty foods or dairy. Drink plenty of water. Also, dry crackers and carbonated drinks such as ginger ale can help prevent nausea.
- Chewing - Chewing gum or chewing on light snacks, or candies may relieve mild effects of car sickness. Chewing in general seems to reduce adverse effects of the conflict between vision and balance.
- Breathing technique - Take slow, deep breaths. Slow, deliberate breathing helps reduce anxiety associated with motion sickness.
- Traditional remedies - Ginger is a traditional remedy for nausea, and some studies show it may help with motion sickness. Peppermint and black horehound are traditional remedies for motion sickness.
- Alternative remedies - Homeopathy, acupuncture, dietary supplements, dietary changes, and physical exercise.
Always be prepared
If you are prone to motion sickness, or you suffer from motion sickness like me, you are familiar with the symptoms. You and I know that once you feel the symptoms coming on, motion sickness can be very difficult to stop. There is a point of no return - when nausea sets in. So, always be prepared. Keep in mind that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
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