The ancient Greeks and Romans knew about motion sickness. Even NASA has made note of it. So if you have this common ailment, you are part of a long tradition.
There are ways to prevent or treat it to keep your travels or trip to the amusement park a pleasant one.
What Causes It?
You get motion sickness when there are conflicts among your senses. Say you’re on a boat ride and it’s spinning you up and down on the ocean. Your eyes see one thing, your muscles feel another, and your inner ears sense something else.
Your brain can’t take in all those mixed signals. That’s why you end up feeling dizzy and sick.
The Role of the Ears
Your inner ears, in particular, help control your sense of balance. They are part of a network called the vestibular system.
The Role of the Brain
Your brain takes in all this data, and it usually comes together and makes sense. But sometimes your brain gets confusing signals.
On a plane, for example, you feel like you’re moving, but your eyes tell your brain that you don’t appear to be going anywhere. The opposite is true as well. After a long sea voyage, you can stand still on dry land but still feel like you’re moving.
The result in both of these scenarios are same: motion sickness or in the case of fishing/boating, seasickness.
Who Gets It?
Anybody can get motion sickness, but it’s more common in children and pregnant women. It’s not contagious.
Motion sickness can strike quickly and make you break out in a cold sweat and feel like you need to throw up. Other common symptoms include:
- Increase in saliva production
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin
- Headaches, feel very tired, or have shallow breathing.
Tips to Ease It
For most people, symptoms usually don’t last long. They often go away once you get used to the situation, whether it’s the rocking of a boat or the movement of a train.
But there are some simple things you can do if the motion sickness isn’t going away on its own:
- Relax. Find something to focus on, whether it’s taking deep breaths or counting backwards from 100. Closing your eyes can help, too.
- Look at a stable object. If you’re on a boat, look at the horizon. If you’re in a car, look through the windshield.
- Avoid alcohol. Eat lightly before travel but don’t fast.
- Breathe fresh air — and don’t smoke.
- Avoid reading.
If you can, get a seat over the wing if you’re flying, an upper-deck cabin if you’re sailing, or a front-seat spot if you’re in a car.
Some people feel like they get relief with these:
- Raw ginger. There’s some scientific proof that this root, long used as a folk remedy to fight nausea, is effective.
- Mint. Eating peppermint is thought to calm the body. At the very least, the aroma may soothe you.
- Acupuncture and acupressure. Some people say that stimulating a certain point just below the wrist helps ease their nausea.
If you’re still bothered by motion sickness, you can talk to your doctor about these:
- Scopolamine (in the Seasickness Capsules). This is a pharmacist only medication. You need to take the medicine 2-4 hours before needed.
- Caffeine (in the Seasickness Capsules) is used in a small dose in the capsule formula to assist patients when taking the antihistamine in combination.
- Chlorphenamine (in the Seasickness Capsules). This is traditional antihistamine and have been used in the management of motion sickness for decades.
For more information on these components and recent formulation research please visit this article.
All medicines can have side effects, including drowsiness and dry mouth. Please speak to your pharmacists for more information.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Motion sickness usually goes away once the journey is over. But if you’re still dizzy, have a headache, continue to vomit, notice hearing loss or chest pain, call your doctor.