Do you consistently fail to enjoy the fun and excitement of a long journey due to nausea or vomiting? Is it a sense of feeling unwell that engrosses you as soon as your vehicles get going? Or, maybe it is not a chronic issue, but you have experienced it at some point in your life. Whatever the frequency of the happening is, you are prone to travel sickness, and it is high time to consider the condition seriously. Check out the causes, symptoms, and some of the most effective ways to get rid of travel sickness:
What Is Travel Sickness?
Travel sickness, also referred to as motion sickness (car sickness, seasickness, etc.), is a widespread problem of the inner ear (labyrinth), typically caused by repeated motion. When the internal ear senses motion (balance and equilibrium) but the eyes and the body (primarily the nerves in muscles and joints) do not, the brain receives conflicting information, thereby making a person travel sick.
Anybody can experience travel sickness when exposed to severe motion for an extended period based on their sensitivity to motion. Some of us have a relatively higher threshold than others. However, children aged between 2 and 12, people suffering from migraine, and pregnant women are more prone to experience it.
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Causes Of Travel Sickness
Travel sickness is usually linked to the movements of boats, cars, airplanes, or amusement rides. But there are many other reasons beyond it, which are given below:
- In addition, hormones, especially estrogen, can contribute to your travel sickness.
- A few conditions, such as injuries, infections, fluid in the ear, Meniere’s disease, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), etc., can cause travel sickness.
- Specific prescription and OTC medications (digoxin, fluoxetine, aminophylline, chloroquine, bisphosphonates, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, birth control pills, etc.) can give you travel sickness.
- Your thoughts are also powerful enough to trigger travel sickness in you.
Symptoms Of Travel Sickness
While travel sickness is mainly characterized by nausea and vomiting, there are some other symptoms. These include cold sweat, pale skin, fatigue, dizziness/lightheadedness, headache, loss of appetite, and an upset stomach.
‘Sopite Syndrome’ is a subcategory of travel sickness in which people do not experience nausea or vomiting. Typical symptoms of this issue are extreme fatigue, drowsiness, and mood change.
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How To Get Rid Of Travel Sickness?
It is truly difficult to put an end to travel sickness entirely. Still, you can undoubtedly lessen its severity or even prevent it from happening by following a few simple and easy tricks.
1. Keep Yourself Filled
You might have heard that eating enough before traveling leads to motion sickness. But the truth is that it is wrong. If your stomach is empty, you will end up vomiting more. Hence, keep yourself filled while setting off.
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2. Pick Foods Wisely
Well, your pre-trip meals should be planned carefully. You can’t eat and drink anything and everything immediately before the journey. Large and heavy meals with strong odors are a complete NO-NO! It is always recommended that you stay away from hot, spicy, or greasy (fat-rich) foods as well as items that make you more nauseous. A few dry crackers and a small drink will help you feel comfortable. Also, try not to smoke or drink (including alcohol) while traveling.
3. Choose Right Seat
Whatever your travel medium is, make sure that you choose the right seat for yourself. There are certain places, such as the front seat of a car, the wing seat of an airplane, and the lower level cabins of a ship, which help passengers avoid experiencing extreme motion. So, try to find a seat at these places and keep your motion sickness away.
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4. Maintain Appropriate Posture
When it comes to traveling, your postures and positions can turn out to be your biggest enemy. Never sit facing backward from the direction of your travel. Rather, sit straight facing the direction in which the vehicle is moving. If it becomes tough for you, at least keep your head straight. Looking out is also suitable if you fix your eyes on the horizon.
5. Change Your Activities
Do you love to read, knit, or watch movies while sitting in a vehicle? These might be the reasons behind your travel sickness. As it needs you to bend down and fix your eyes on an object inside the vehicle, you can be more prone to vomiting. Therefore, reduce your sensory input and look in front of you. Keeping your gaze fixed on a point outside can make symptoms subside.
6. Distract Yourself
It is another excellent way to avoid motion sickness. The more you become able to divert your mind from the thought of sickness, the more you feel well and good. Keep yourself busy by singing songs, listening to your favorite music, or talking to others. If none of these suits you, close your eyes and sleep.
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7. Find Air Ventilation
Adequate air ventilation is essential to steer clear of travel sickness. Open windows or vents to increase fresh air circulation inside the vehicle as soon as possible. In addition, make sure that the air is clear of any strong odors.
8. Try Ginger Candies
Place a hard ginger candy inside your mouth cavity and let it melt down inside gradually. Not all, but some people find this natural remedy highly effective in providing relief from nausea.
9. Keep OTC Medicines Handy
There are more than a few OTC (over-the-counter) drugs in the market, which can be taken for coping with motion sickness. If you are not aware of them, consult your family physician, and he/she will prescribe the same for you. However, check the medication labels carefully and determine the correct dose before using.
10. Use ‘Scopolamine Patch’
Scopolamine is a ‘tropane alkaloid drug,’ available in the market as a transdermal patch. It needs to be put on right at the back of the ear to work against the repeated motion, which causes trouble to the inner ear. As a result, we can avoid travel sickness successfully. However, this patch has specific side effects, including drowsiness, and you must be prepared for that.
In general, the symptoms of travel sickness subsides automatically once the motions stop entirely. Otherwise, you must see your doctor.
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