Motion sickness is an unpleasant combination of symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting, which can occur when you’re travelling. It’s also sometimes known as travel sickness, seasickness, car sickness or air sickness.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone can get it. It happens when your brain have to handle conflicting information from your body, your eyes, and your inner ear (which tells your brain how your head is moving). For example, if you’re on a boat, your inner ear may feel a rolling motion that your eyes can’t see. As a result, this causes motion sickness.
Some people are a little more vulnerable than others:
- Women, especially when they’re menstruating, pregnant, or on hormone therapy
- People who often get migraines
- Kids from 2 to 12 years old
- People who take certain kinds ofmedications, like antibiotics, narcotics, asthma medicines, antidepressants
Here are initial symptoms of motion sickness:
- Pale skin
- Cold sweat
- An increase in saliva
- Lots of yawning
Some people also have additional symptoms, such as:
- Rapid, shallow breath
Fight against that feeling
You can do a few things to try to help with motion sickness:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and big meals before your departure. Drink a lot of water throughout your journey.
- Lie down if possible, or shut your eyes, and keep your head still. Look at the horizon. Don’t look at the seat in front of you.
- Find a better spot. Some people find the comfort by taking the wheel. If you’re not driving, sit in the front seat rather than in back. If you’re in a plane, choose the window seat rather than in front or extreme back. If you’re on a bus or a train, try to get the seat that faces the way you’re going.
- You can listen to music, or eat something. Light, fizzy drinks, such as ginger ale, may be helpful.
- Take fresh air. Open windows or move to the top deck of a ship to get a good supply of fresh air.
- Be calm. It’s easy to get motion sickness if you keep thinking about it.
There are two kinds of medicines used for motion sickness treatment. The first is antihistamines, which is available from prescription to over-the-counter. Cyclizine (Marezine) and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) is the second option.
Be sure to read the drug labels. One of the big side effects of these medications is drowsiness. Some products use different ingredients that don’t make you as sleepy, but they may less effective.
The other common drug used to keep motion sickness under control is scopolamine (Transderm Scop). It’s an adhesive patch you put behind your ear a few hours before you think you’ll need it. You need a prescription to get it.
Kids shouldn’t take antihistamines or scopolamine. If your child is between the ages of 2 and 12, dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can work. Make sure to try a test dose before you leave home in case there are some side effects.
As with all drugs — including over-the-counter antihistamines — check with the doctor or pharmacist before you take them or give them to your child.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: February 16, 2017 | Last Modified: February 13, 2017
Motion sickness. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Motion-sickness/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Assessed January 21, 2017
How to beat motion sickness. http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/how-to-beat-motion-sickness?page=1#1. Assessed January 21, 2017