Motion Sickness and How to Prevent it

Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is described as a queasy feeling in your stomach that is associated with traveling.

People often experience nausea when riding in an automobile, an airplane, or on amusement park rides. When traveling by boat it is referred to as seasickness, but it is the same thing. It is all related to motion and an inner ear disturbance.

When your ears and eyes have too much stimuli coming in, it affects the brain and can leave you feeling dizzy or queasy. Flickering lights, movement, and the disruption of balance seem to be a major cause of this occurrence. Your inner ear is where your brain determines balance and this system can be upset during car rides, boat rides, or any other situations that cause motion sickness.

What Causes It?

Motion sickness is most often caused by a disturbance of the inner ear. It is caused by the movement of the vehicle or any other movements that disturb the inner ear. You get motion sickness when there are conflicting signals from your senses. Pretend for a moment, that you’re on a ride at the fair. It’s spinning you around and upside down. Your eyes see one thing, your muscles feel another, and your inner ears sense something completely different. This incongruity between your senses is what causes the feeling of nausea.

How to Combat Motion Sickness?

If you want to lessen the chance of vomiting, be sure to eat well in advance of travel or wait until you get to where you are going. Anything in your stomach may not sit well with the repetitive motion. Things like hard candies, lollipops, or ice cream may take your mind off your stomach. Sucking or licking something gives your brain another activity to focus on and helps you stay hydrated until you can get to your destination.

It may also help to use a sleep mask to keep your eyes from getting too much input. This is something airplane travelers often use to help them avoid getting sick while flying. Closing your eyes or focusing on other things like reading or listening to music helps as well. If you know you are going to be in a situation where motion sickness is likely to occur, you may want to bring multiple of these items until you figure out which works best for you. For some, bringing a book will solve the issue, while for others it could make it much worse. Listen to your body and find out your preferred method.

There are over-the-counter medicines that may help prevent nausea while traveling. Dramamine is a well-known motion sickness preventative, be sure to check with your doctor first if you’re pregnant. Prescription medications may also alleviate symptoms and allow you to enjoy your trip a little more.

Quick Tips to Remember

  • Avoid watching the road while traveling (looking out the window of a moving vehicle can be disorienting)
  • Eat a meal hours before your scheduled departure
  • Bring a book to read or watch Netflix on your phone or tablet to keep your mind busy
  • Bring something to like anti-nausea meds, chew gum, or suck on candy to avoid dry mouth

Motion sickness is just something you have to deal with temporarily. Once you get to where you’re going and the motion stops, you’ll be back to feeling like yourself again. You can then be free to enjoy the rest of your trip until you have to return home.