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Motion Sickness

  • General Health
  • Read Time - 4 Min

Extremely prone to motion sickness, what can be done?
Dear Dr.Sant. I am very prone to motion sickness, suffered every time I travel. I have done all those recommended prevention and management, but all didn’t work. I would like to know an effective medical method that really works.

Why do you get motion sickness?
Travelling by car, boat or plane, a brain get confused hallucination because the brain receives information from both the ears and eyes which is inconsistent with the information received from the balancing organ in the inner ear, lead to cold hands and feet, dizziness, nausea, to vomiting. And when the car stops, symptoms will alleviate by themselves. People who travel often will be able to get used to the movement in a vehicle better than people who rarely travel.

How to avoid motion sickness? 
1. Adjusts eyes and ears perception to be consistent with the movement of the car by sitting in the front seat to allow the balance control organs to move along with the car. 
2. Assume that you are driving, because the brain will predict the movement of the car and won’t get confused. 
3. Look at the sky to position the horizon and let the brain know where the position of each thing lies and find landmarks in the distance to let the body recognize that we are moving toward that point. 
4. Do not focus on small objects in the car such as reading books because the eyes that are focusing while the car is shaking will lead to confusion of the current position.
5. Do not put your head against the backrest because it mimics the body to be attached to the backrest. Sway the head according to the movement of the car. It is recommended to set your head up, look out for the direction where the car is turning or if you want to lean on, keep your head upright, do not bend your head, do not lean against the car.
6. Do not smoke or sit beside someone who smokes as the smell may worsen motion sickness.
7. Do not let your stomach too full or eat oily food or difficult of digest food as it is easier to get motion sickness with tight distention stomach.
9. Do not eat strong odor food as it can trigger yourself and provoke your companions to vomit.
10. Do not eat spicy food because if vomitting, it will burningly irritate.
11. Finish off your own business as holding will cause contraction and loosening of intestines to stop and make you feel worse.
12. Stop drinking alcohol before travelling as drunkenness will be synergist by both alcohol and motion sickness.  
13. Take an anti-histamine drug like Dramamine® 1 tablet before traveling but it may cause sleepiness or use a motion sickness patch by placing on the back of the ear 2-3 hours before the trip, the effect may last long up to 72 hours.
14. Drinking a little soda soft drink can help loosen upset stomach.
15. Open the window to get fresh and cool breeze or wipe your face with a cool cloth to relieve dizziness.
16. Inhalants or herbal scents, such as citrus peel or chili peel scents will help relieve dizziness. 
17. Tell yourself and your companions that we will never get drunk because our brain and consciousness receive signals from autonomic nerves telling us not to get motion sickness. But if someone get motion sickness, the whole car might also get drunk too.
18. Use the Sea band, an acupressure wrist band with a press buttom according to a Chinese textbook that pressing the area around one inch above the wrist joint will control motion sickness or may use your fingers to press on that area.
19. Sleeping or closing your eyes reduces the signal entering the body, thus reducing car sickness.