Your family vacation has been ruined by your falling sick with bouts of nausea, headache and dizziness. Familiar? This could be motion sickness
From serene hill stations to the pristine beaches exploring different parts of the country or the world, learning about different cultures and places with families or all alone — we all love to travel. But a journey filled with nausea, headaches and dizziness is something you wouldn’t want to experience. Many people suffer from such a condition commonly known as motion sickness or travel sickness.
This is quite a common condition that is usually experienced when people travel by bus, trains and even aeroplanes. According to Dr Pramati Reddy, senior physician, Apollo Hospital, “Motion sickness occurs when there is an imbalance between what your ear perceives and what you see. When such an imbalance occurs it sends signals to the brain that may result in nausea, vomiting, dizziness and tiredness.
These imbalances occur when you are travelling or there are sudden movements.” Many people often complain of symptoms of motion sickness before they are about to embark on a journey. According to Dr Pramati, “This is just psychological. Unless there is a movement, there can be no symptoms of motion sickness. This could just be a recollection of what happened when the person has travelled earlier.”
Many medicines and home remedies are available to tackle motion sickness:
There are various medicines available that are approved and proven to tackle motion sickness.Dr Pramati says, “Metoclopramide and Meclizine are often prescribed to people who suffer from motion sickness. These medications can be taken before the person embarks on a journey or even after the symptoms of motion sickness are seen. Another option that is seen are patches. But these too can be done only on the prescription and advise of a medical practitioner. The effect of these medications can be felt only after 15-20 minutes of taking the medication.”
- Sickness bands
A unique addition to the various means to prevent motion sickness are the latest motion sickness bands. These bands or bracelets stimulate acupressure points on the wrist. They are said to be a good way to prevent nausea associated with motion sickness although it is not scientifically proven. They are said to make use of magnets to control nausea.
- Ginger and peppermint
Ginger and peppermint are natural home remedies that are said to help combat symptoms of nausea. Dr Pramati says, “Ginger and ginger ale is said to be a good way to control the nausea. Chewing something light or gum can also be helpful.”
- Avoid food that can cause nausea
Avoid having any kind of food that can cause nausea such as alcohol and cigarettes. Oily and heavy food before travelling should be avoided. It is also said that dairy products and food which is salty is also advised against. Dr Pramati says that juices and sweets should be avoided before or during a journey.
- Focus in the front
Whether you are travelling by flight or by a car, it is generally advised to sit in the front. Looking towards the horizon and not reading is also suggested to prevent symptoms of motion sickness. Taking a nap is also a good way to combat motion sickness. According to Dr Pramati, “Looking out of the window, basically looking in a horizontal direction helps.”
So you have taken your medication, had a light meal yet the motion sickness sets in. In such a situation Dr Pramati says, “Fresh air helps as well as stopping for breaks between your journey. Also drink plenty of water. If you are carrying the medication you can take a tablet too.”The most important aspect is to relax, sit back and keep yourself calm.