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How to Avoid Motion Sickness

Mukulika Mukherjee
Are you terrified at the thought of enjoying a ride on a Ferris wheel? Do you experience dizziness and nausea while traveling by air? If no, then you are definitely one of the lucky ones! If yes, then you belong to 33% of the population who suffer from motion sickness and this story is for you! Keep reading for tips on how to prevent motion sickness.
This disagreement between the two signals "confuses" your brain and as a result of this, you experience nausea and uneasiness. Situations where the eyes detect movement but the ear canals do not, also cause motion sickness and a good example of such a situation is when you play video games. It is aggravated when the body experiences complex movements such as when an airplane twists and turns in the face of bad weather.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

The symptoms of motion sickness are seldom severe and usually subside once you cease to be in motion. However, in some people the symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with the individual's personal and professional life. Let's have a look at the possible symptoms of motion sickness.
  • Increased production of saliva
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Shivers and cold sweats
  • Drowsiness or sleep (this is known as sopite syndrome)
  • Uneasiness

How to Prevent Motion Sickness

It has been found that women are more likely to experience motion sickness as compared to men. Also, children of ages 4 to 12 are more sensitive as their vestibular system is not fully developed by then. Motion sickness is known by many names such as car sickness, air sickness, sea sickness, etc.
Interestingly, even the astronauts who travel to outer space in zero gravity spaceships experience a form of motion sickness!
♦ While traveling, choose a seat that offers you most stability. In a car, choose the front seat and on a flight, choose a seat that is in the front part of the airplane. Also, a seat that is located over the wings offers stability. The best seat on a boat is one that is close to the center and on the upper deck.
♦ Eat wisely before you set on your journey. It is recommended that you avoid oily and spicy stuff and eat only light food 24 hours before you begin your journey. Remember that spicy food induces vomiting. Also, stay away from alcohol and drink lots of water. Traveling on an empty stomach is not a good idea, either. Munch on some light snacks if you are hungry.
♦ Closing your eyes can help. This way you are limiting visual inputs to the brain, thus reducing the chances of a "sensory conflict".
♦ Go for activities that help to distract the brain and avoid thinking that you are feeling nauseous. Listening to your favorite tunes can help. Also, don't read a book or play games on your mobile. Look outside and admire the landscape, instead. While traveling in an airplane, choose a window seat. If you have car sickness, make it a point to keep the windows open to allow some fresh air. This will help you feel better.
♦ If traveling by car, make sure you drive smoothly. Remember that a bumpy ride can worsen your motion sickness. In case you're driving on rough and unfriendly terrain, take frequent breaks to make yourself feel better.
♦ You can keep a few anti-histamine pills handy, for when you need them. However, always consult your doctor before taking any medication.
♦ Wear comfortable clothes for the journey as this will help you relax. Also, wearing dark sunglasses will relax your eyes and help you fall asleep.
♦ Ginger and mint are very effective remedies for motion sickness. So, have ginger tea, ginger biscuits or chew mint candies while traveling. If you suffer from severe motion sickness, you can start having ginger tea at least 24 hours before your journey.
♦ You can even try sporting a "magic" wristband. This is nothing but a wristband designed to apply gentle pressure on the particular pressure point on the wrist that is supposed to control the feeling of nausea and vomiting. You can get one at the chemist's.
These were a few tips on how to prevent motion sickness. Always relax while on a journey and do not think that you are sure to feel sick. Instead, focus on your breath and try to have some sleep. Hope these tips make your trip a pleasant one. Have fun!